The Heartland XV was selected from the 12 unions participating in the Heartland competition for the Meads Cup and Lochore Cup. Previously this selection had been known as the Divisional XV during the period that the national provincial competition was conducted in three divisions.
With the revamping of the competition the premier grade (for the Air New Zealand Cup) was increased with five former division two unions — Counties Manukau, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu, Marlborough and Nelson Bays — moving up. With the removal of five of the stronger division two unions only three rnembers of the 2006 Heartland squad had previous experience with the Divisional team – Mayhew, Tuamoheloa and Thompson. Despite the lack of touring experience and the demand to play at a higher level the Heartland team performed with much credit in Argentina even though in the two provincial matches the local team breached IRB regulations by using too many substitutes. Refereeing was also of a poor standard.
Joe Harwood captained the team and Aarin Dunster was the outstanding player. Prior to the tour the squad had a training match in Auckland with the All Blacks squad before their tour to Europe.
From: “2007 RUGBY almanac” p. 69.
Nov. 1 v Salta at Salta. Won 23 – 22 Tuamoheloa (2), Vaughan tries. Rimene conversion and 2 pen. goals.
Nov. 5 v Tucuman at Tucuman Lost 13 – 35 Tuamoheloa try. Leighton conversion and 2 pen. goals.
Nov. 11 v Argentina A at Rosario Lost 5 – 39 Solomon try.