National Rugby Championship

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National Rugby Championship (NRC)
National Rugby Championship logo.png
Sport Rugby union
Inaugural season 2014
Number of teams 9
Country Australia
Champions Brisbane City (2014)
Most titles Brisbane City (1 title)
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.


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.


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 ARU with the sponsorship of Foxtel. One (or more) of the NRC matches each round is broadcast live via Fox Sports.[5] Arrangements for the streaming of non-broadcast matches are made by the NRC teams. The ARU indicated that the Foxtel broadcast deal for the NRC included the digital rights, but that the streaming of matches not covered on Fox would be available to viewers for free.[5]


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.[6]

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.[7][8]


Location of teams in the 2014 National Rugby Championship

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

Blue pog.svg 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:[9]

Team Licencees and associated clubs 2014 Placing
Brisbane City QRU / Reds 3rd
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 4th
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.[10][11]

Team selection[edit]

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ARU Board approves nine team National Rugby Championship to start in August 2014". (Press release). 24 March 2014. Archived from the original on 24 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Buildcorp announced as National Rugby Championship naming rights partner". Australian Rugby. 16 July 2014. Archived from the original on 16 July 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "ARU partners with Allianz for new National Rugby Championship". Australian Rugby. 20 August 2014. Archived from the original on 25 August 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Fixtures draw". Australian Rugby. 2014. Archived from the original on 16 July 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  5. ^ a b McKay, Brett (15 July 2014). "NRC update part 3: All systems go for launch". The Roar. Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "SA Rugby misses out on an NRC Team". 24 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "Australia relaunches National Rugby Championship". 24 March 2014. Archived from the original on 24 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "NRC update part 1: Queensland, Perth, Melbourne and Canberra". The Roar. 8 July 2014. Archived from the original on 3 July 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "Bill Pulver releases details on the new National Rugby Championship, which kicks off in August". 24 March 2014. Archived from the original on 24 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "NRC update part 2: NSW Country and the Sydney teams". The Roar. 9 July 2014. Archived from the original on 9 July 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "Eastwood quit Greater Sydney Rams partnership". ESPN Scrum. 2 July 2014. Archived from the original on 16 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 

External links[edit]

Team webpages[edit]