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Rugby Union

ARU announces national club competition

NINE teams will compete in the inaugural National Rugby Championship, which will kick-off in August this year.

The competition will feature four teams from NSW, two from Queensland and one each from the ACT, Victoria and Western Australia.

The NSW teams will be North Harbour Rays (Manly, Warringah, Gordon and Norths); Sydney Stars (Sydney University, Balmain); Greater Western Rams (West Harbour, Penrith, Parramatta, Eastwood, Southern Districts) and NSW Country.

The two Queensland teams will be Brisbane City and Queensland Country, while the University of Canberra Vikings, Melbourne Rising and Perth Spirit give the competition a national identity.

The NRC will start in late August following the state premier rugby competitions and will run until the beginning of November. The 11-week competition will include eight preliminary rounds, semi-finals and finals.

All Super Rugby players will be required to play in the NRC with a quota system in place to ensure each of the nine teams have a mixture of Super Rugby players and the best up and coming club players.

The Wallabies will be playing Tests while the NRC is on, but each squad member will be allocated across the nine teams and will play when available.

“The National Rugby Championship is an important strategic development for the growth of rugby in Australia,” ARU chief executive Bill Pulver said.

At least one match per round will be broadcast live on Fox Sports.

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