From its inception the ARC divided many in Australian rugby, with arguments over the structure and format of the competition and concerns that the creation of arbitrary state-based teams undermined the strong club competitions in Sydney and Brisbane. On 18 December 2007, the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) announced that the ARC would be scrapped due to financial losses of A$4.7 million (US$4.0 million, € 2.8 million, £2.0 million).
On 10 December 2013, Bill Pulver, the CEO of the Australian Rugby Union announced a new national competition along similar lines; with 8 - 10 teams in "major population centres" called the National Rugby Championship
The official announcement on the agreement of a national rugby competition in Australia was made in mid-2006, following a 70-person three-day summit in Sydney that agreed to an eight team competition. However, the competition was not without its share of controversy, with some of the clubs being against the forming of a new level of competition, claiming it could harm club and grass roots rugby. In September an ARU board meeting gave the competition an official green light. A month later the competition kicked off for its inaugural year, the Queensland teams performed poorly as the East Coast Aces & Ballymore Tornadoes finished last & second last respectively. The Perth Spirit performed the best out of the regular rounds winning 6 out of 8 games although due to bonus points finished third on the ladder behind Central Coast Rays & the competitions first minor-premiers the Western Sydney Rams. After the top four teams took part in the semi-finals the Melbourne Rebels and Central Coast Rays would compete in the first ever ARC Grand Final. The Rays took out the competition defeating the Melbourne side 20 - 12.
A review of the tournament was undertaken following the 2007 season. This review found that the competition had run at more than $2 million over budget and that forecast losses for the 2008 season came to a further $3.3 million. The ARU says that the cumulative loss of $8 million over two years would be fiscally irresponsible.
The competition ran for eight weeks, with finals being competed over an additional two weeks - each side played eight games, with the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals where the winners move into the final. The competition kicked off in August, after the Super 14 and the March to July club competitions finished, and avoiding a clash with Australian under-19 and under-21 duties and the Pacific Nations Cup (in which Australia A played). In total, 35 matches were played in the ARC over 10 weeks from 11 August and 14 October, with games played on Fridays and Sundays. It was originally planned that games would not be played at 'traditional' times for rugby matches, but this decision was changed when the ABC insisted that its televised games be played on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The inaugural final was played between the Central Coast Rays and the Melbourne Rebels in Gosford.
The timeframe of the season ensured the availability of Super 14 players (excluding Wallabies). There was no draft, and players were free to choose their team, although there was a salary cap in place. Players came from local competitions (which includes Super 14 players). Each Super 14 franchise was aligned with the respective teams, except for Melbourne, as Victoria had no Super rugby team at the time.
It was planned that although 35 footballers will be on international duty for the Wallabies, over 90 Super 14 players would go into the ARC, leaving the way for over 120 footballers to step up from first grade club competitions.
It was also planned that each team would have one "marquee" footballer not be subject to financial restrictions of the player contracting protocol. The player could be either foreign or a non-contracted domestic footballer, and if a team signed an Australian as their marquee footballer, they would still be able to sign up a foreign footballer, though they would have to fit within the contract restrictions.
The ARU announced in June 2007 that the inaugural championship would adopt the Experimental Law Variations (ELVs), which were initially trialled at South Africa's Stellenbosch University and which aim to bring more free-flowing play into the game. The laws were implemented in both the Sydney and Brisbane club competitions and were well received.
The championship was broadcast on free to air television during its only season. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) "secured" the rights to exclusively televise the competition from 2007 through to 2009 by agreeing to accept a substantial fee from the ARU in order to cover the matches. The fact that the sport's governing organisation had to pay a television station to broadcast the game arguably has worrying implications for a code struggling to attract mainstream interest in Australia. The ABC committed to broadcast 19 matches during the season on ABC1 and ABC2: two matches from each round, plus the semi-finals and the final. The previous time that the ABC covered elite level rugby was for the 1991 Rugby World Cup (which Australia also won).