Last Updated: July 12, 2014

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Townsville Rugby union has submitted an expression of interest to play in the new National Rugby Championship second tier domestic competition

TOWNSVILLE Rugby union has submitted an expression of interest, but director Terry Shiells says they must simply cross their fingers and wait to see if their chances of hosting a National Rugby Championship club move forward.

Townsville submitted their EOI for the second tier tournament before they closed on Monday and the Australian Rugby union created NRC Commission will soon open an official tendering process.

A regional club could be part of the competition alongside teams from Perth, Melbourne, Canberra, two from Brisbane, three from Sydney and a country NSW outfit.

The NRC will run between August and October and in the mould of New Zealand's ITM Cup and South Africa's Currie Cup, will involve Australian players only.

All Super Rugby players not playing for the Wallabies will be involved alongside grade players and when launched in early December, ARU chief Bill Pulver said it would fill the void in playing time after the club and professional seasons finished.

It will be the first competition of its type since the Australian Rugby Championship in 2007, which lasted just one season, and Shiells said Townsville hoped to be part of it.

"Obviously an expression of interest, there's still a fair bit of work putting it together but it's always good to apply for things," Shiells said.

"You'd like to think you get one."

Thanks to backing from a broadcast deal with Fox Sports, the ARU will cover the costs of travel and accommodation while the Townsville club would be responsible for covering the set up, staffing and home match day costs alongside the day-to-day running of the club.

Shiells said there was no reason why players from Townsville and other parts of North Queensland couldn't contribute to a regional team.

"We have a number of players from up here who go to Brisbane and play Premier Rugby straight away so obviously there's plenty of footballers around," he said.

"There's more than enough talent around, it's just a matter of giving everyone an opportunity."

If the Townsville bid does progress to the tendering process they will have to show their suitability based on financial strength, governance, professional team staffing and structure, commitment to player development, a quality playing venue and a suitable fan base.

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