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The Wellington Lions will return to the Mitre 10 Cup premiership in 2018 with a home match against traditional rivals Otago in round one.
The Lions, who won promotion back to the top echelon of New Zealand provincial rugby after their championship final win over Bay of Plenty, will meet Otago on Sunday, August 19 at Westpac Stadium.
The Lions will not have to wait long to test themselves against the defending premiership champions with the side due to meet Canterbury on Saturday, August 25 in Christchurch.
The match will be one of many highlights for the season that will include a battle of the Gibbes brothers when Wellington coach Chris meets Waikato coach Jono on September 5 in Hamilton.
There is also a chance the Lions will get a Ranfurly Shield challenge with the team scheduled to meet holders Taranaki on Friday, October 12 in New Plymouth.
Lions fans will also be delighted to hear the “Bark in the Park” promotion will be returning in 2018 by “paw-pular” demand.
The remaining themes for the Lions will be released closer to the start of the Mitre 10 Cup.
Click here for the full list of Wellington Lions 2018 fixtures