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National Rugby Championship

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National Rugby Championship

National Rugby Championship (NRC)
Current season or competition:
2015 National Rugby Championship
Sport Rugby union
Inaugural season 2014
Number of teams 9
Country Australia
Champions Brisbane City (2015)
Most titles Brisbane City (2 titles)
Website buildcorpnrc.com
Broadcast partner Fox Sports
Related competition

The National Rugby Championship, known as the NRC, is Australia's national professional rugby union football competition. The NRC is administered by the Australian Rugby Union (ARU), and is contested by nine teams from around Australia.[1] The NRC is the highest tier of competition below the transnational Super Rugby tournament, which also involves New Zealand and South Africa. The championship provides an important competition for Australian players following the Super Rugby season.

Format

The National Rugby Championship spans eleven weeks from late August, after the completion of the premier club rugby competitions in each state, to early November. A round-robin tournament is played over nine rounds where each team plays each other once. Each team has four home matches and four away matches with one bye. This is followed by the finals rounds consisting of two semi-final matches, contested by the top four teams, and a grand final match to determine the season's champion team.

During the round-robin section of the tournament, teams can also play for the Horan-Little Shield, a challenge trophy that is played for when a challenge is accepted or offered by the holders.

Sponsorship

NRC Competition Trophy
NRC Competition Launch with Buildcorp MD Tony Sukkar and players from all nine teams.

Buildcorp has the naming rights for the NRC competition.[2] Other partners include Intercontinental Hotels, Qantas, and Allianz, with the Allianz group logo appearing on referees' jerseys through to end of 2016.[3] ASICS are the official apparel supplier and Gilbert is the official supplier of all rugby balls.[2][4]

The tournament is run by the Australian Rugby Union with the sponsorship of Foxtel which provides television coverage on its Fox Sports channels. Discussion of the NRC competition is included on Fox Sports' Rugby HQ program on Thursday nights following the live match broadcast, and on the Monday night review show NRC Extra Time on Fox Sports HD 2.[5]

Live TV coverage and streaming

One (or more) of the NRC matches each round, typically the Thursday night match, is broadcast live via Fox Sports HD 2.[6] Streaming of the three non-broadcast matches per round, usually played on Saturday or Sunday, is hosted by Fox Sports online.[5]

Background

In December 2013, the ARU announced that Australia would get a third-tier competition in line with South Africa’s Currie Cup and New Zealand's ITM Cup. Eleven bids were tendered from teams wanting to participate in the tournament, with nine being accepted. Applicants that were not successfult were advised that they could bid again as the competition matured, as early as 2015.[7]

The National Rugby Championship follows a previous national competition, the Australian Rugby Championship, that was abandoned after the first season in 2007 due to financial losses.[8][9]

A new broadcasting deal agreed in 2015, secured the funding and future of the competition until the 2020 season.[10]

Teams

Location of teams in the 2014 National Rugby Championship

Legend:
BRIBrisbane City
MLBMelbourne Rising
NSWNSW Country Eagles
PERPerth Spirit
QCQueensland Country
UCVUniversity of Canberra Vikings

SYD – Sydney (see below)
Location of the Sydney-based teams in the 2014 National Rugby Championship

GSRGreater Sydney Rams
NHRNorth Harbour Rays
SYDSydney Stars

The teams competing in the NRC are the following:[11]

Team Licencees and associated clubs 2014 Placing
Brisbane City QRU / Reds 1st
Greater Sydney Rams West Harbour, Penrith, Parramatta, Southern Districts 5th
Melbourne Rising VRU / Rebels 1st
NSW Country Eagles Easts, Randwick 2nd
North Harbour Rays Manly, Warringah, Gordon, Norths 7th
Perth Spirit WA / Force 2nd
Queensland Country QRU / Reds 8th
Sydney Stars Sydney University, Balmain 9th
University of Canberra Vikings ACT&SNSW Rugby Union / Brumbies, University of Canberra, Tuggeranong Vikings 6th

Eastwood withdrew from the Rams partnership in July 2014 citing financial concerns.[12][13]

Team selection

Australia's Super Rugby players participate in the NRC under a capped allocation to ensure that all NRC teams have a mix of players from local development squads and club competitions as well as those with Super Rugby experience. Australian national team players are required for Test match rugby during the NRC season, but each player is allocated to one of the NRC teams and is able to play if released from national duty.

Champions

Total wins
Team Championships Runners-up Losing semi-finalists
Brisbane City 2 (2014,2015) 0 0
Perth Spirit 0 1 (2014) 0
Canberra Vikings 0 1 (2015) 0
Melbourne Rising 0 0 2 (2014, 2015)
New South Wales Country Eagles 0 0 1 (2014)
Sydney Stars 0 0 1 (2015)
Wins by State/Territory
State/Territory Championships Runners-up Losing semi-finalists
Queensland 2 0 0
Western Australia 0 1 0
Australian Capital Territory 0 1 0
New South Wales 0 0 2
Victoria 0 0 2
Champions by year
Year # of Teams Final Losing semi-finalists
Winner Score Runner-up 1st losing semi-finalist 2nd losing semi-finalist
2014 9 Brisbane City 37-26 Perth Spirit Melbourne Rising NSW Country Eagles
2015 9 Brisbane City 21-10 Canberra Vikings Melbourne Rising Sydney Stars

See also

References

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  2. ^ a b
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^

External links

  • buildcorpnrc.com official website
  • BuildcorpNRC on twitter.com
  • NRC on Fox Sports

Team webpages

  • Brisbane City
  • Greater Sydney Rams
  • Melbourne Rising
  • North Harbour Rays
  • NSW Country Eagles
  • Perth Spirit
  • Queensland Country
  • Sydney Stars
  • University of Canberra Vikings
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