National Rugby Championship

Last updated
National Rugby Championship (NRC)
Recent season
Rugby football current event.svg 2018 National Rugby Championship
National Rugby Championship logo 2017.png
Sport Rugby union
Inaugural season 2014
Number of teams8
Country Australia
Champions Fijian Drua (2018)
Most titles Brisbane City (2 titles)
Website rugby.com.au/competitions/nrc
Broadcast partner Fox Sports
Related competition

The National Rugby Championship, known as NRC, is an Australian national rugby union competition. As of 2018, it was contested by seven teams from around Australia plus one from Fiji.

Rugby union Team sport, code of rugby football

Rugby union, widely known simply as rugby, is a contact team sport which originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts at each end.

Fiji Country in Oceania

Fiji, officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,100 nautical miles northeast of New Zealand's North Island. Its closest neighbours are Vanuatu to the west, New Caledonia to the southwest, New Zealand's Kermadec Islands to the southeast, Tonga to the east, the Samoas and France's Wallis and Futuna to the northeast, and Tuvalu to the north. Fiji consists of an archipelago of more than 330 islands—of which 110 are permanently inhabited—and more than 500 islets, amounting to a total land area of about 18,300 square kilometres (7,100 sq mi). The most outlying island is Ono-i-Lau. The two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for 87% of the total population of 898,760. The capital, Suva, on Viti Levu, serves as the country's principal cruise-ship port. About three-quarters of Fijians live on Viti Levu's coasts, either in Suva or in smaller urban centres such as Nadi—where tourism is the major local industry—or Lautoka, where the sugar-cane industry is paramount. Due to its terrain, the interior of Viti Levu is sparsely inhabited.

Contents

The NRC is the top-level tournament administered by Rugby Australia. It is a competition for players in Australia following the Super Rugby season.

Rugby Australia governing body for rugby union in Australia

Rugby Australia, known as the Australian Rugby Union until 2017, is the governing body of rugby union in Australia. It was officially constituted in 1949 and is a member of World Rugby (WR), the sport's international governing body. Rugby Australia has eight member unions, representing each state and territory. It also manages Australia's national rugby union teams, including the Wallabies.

Super Rugby rugby union competition

Super Rugby is a professional men's rugby union competition involving teams from Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Japan. Building on various Southern Hemisphere competitions dating back to the South Pacific Championship in 1986, with teams from a number of southern nations, Super Rugby started as the Super 12 in the 1996 season with 12 teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The Super 12 was established by SANZAR after the sport became professional in 1995. The competition is widely regarded as rugby union's toughest provincial competition.

Format

The National Rugby Championship is usually held in the period between late August and early November. A round-robin tournament is scheduled first where each team plays all others once. The top four teams progress to the championship playoffs consisting of two semi-final knockout matches and a grand final to determine the champion team and winner of the NRC Trophy.

A round-robin tournament is a competition in which each contestant meets all other contestants in turn. A round-robin contrasts with an elimination tournament, in which participants are eliminated after a certain number of losses.

NRC winner's trophy, nicknamed 'The Toast Rack'. National Rugby Championship Trophy.jpg
NRC winner's trophy, nicknamed 'The Toast Rack'.

During the round-robin section of the tournament, teams can also play for the Horan-Little Shield, a challenge trophy that is put on the line by the holders when a challenge match is accepted or mandated according to the Shield rules.

The Horan-Little Shield is a trophy in Australia's domestic rugby union competition. Proposed to the Australian Rugby Union, now known as Rugby Australia, by members of the Green and Gold Rugby supporters website, it was first played for in 2015.

Teams

The National Rugby Championship has eight teams competing in the 2018 season:

The 2018 National Rugby Championship was the fifth season of the top flight of Australian domestic rugby union. The competition began on 1 September and concluded on 27 October. Matches were roadcast on Fox Sports and the championship featured eight professional teams, seven from Australia and one from Fiji.

Australia location map.svg
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Teams in the 2018 National Rugby Championship  (Fijian Drua not shown on map).
NRC Competition Launch in 2014 with Buildcorp MD Tony Sukkar and players from all teams. Buildcorp NRC Competition Launch with Buildcorp MD Tony Sukkar and team captains.jpg
NRC Competition Launch in 2014 with Buildcorp MD Tony Sukkar and players from all teams.
Team Licencees and associated clubs
Brisbane City QRU / Reds
Canberra Vikings ACT&SNSWRU / Brumbies, Tuggeranong Vikings
Fijian Drua Fiji Rugby Union
NSW Country NSW Country Rugby Union, Sydney University, Easts, Randwick
Melbourne Rising VRU / Rebels
Queensland Country QRU / Reds
Sydney Rays Gordon, Manly, Norths, Warringah
Western Force WA / Force

Television coverage and streaming

Two of the NRC matches each weekend are broadcast live via Fox Sports, with the remaining matches shown on the Fox Sports streaming platform. [1] Discussion of the NRC competition is included on Fox Sports' review show NRC Extra Time on Monday nights, and the Kick & Chase program on Tuesday evenings.

Fox Sports (Australia) Australia group of sports channels

Fox Sports is an Australian group of sports channels, which is owned by Foxtel. Its main competitors are ESPN and beIN Sports, both available as part of a Foxtel subscription.

History

Buildcorp NRC logo used 2014-2016. National Rugby Championship logo.png
Buildcorp NRC logo used 2014–2016.

In December 2013, the ARU announced that Australia would get another tier of competition under Super Rugby in line with South Africa’s Currie Cup and New Zealand's Mitre 10 Cup (then known as ITM Cup). Eleven bids were tendered from teams wanting to participate in the tournament, with nine being accepted. [2] Applicants that were not successful were advised that they could bid again as the competition matured, as early as 2015. [3]

The National Rugby Championship followed a previous national competition, the Australian Rugby Championship, that was abandoned after the first season in 2007 due to financial losses. [4] [5]

The construction company Buildcorp was the inaugural naming rights sponsor for the NRC competition, [6] with other partners including Intercontinental Hotels, Qantas, and Allianz also signed. [7] ASICS was the official apparel supplier for the first two seasons. Matches were played under approved law variations, [8] intended to increase the speed of the game. [9]

A new broadcasting deal agreed in 2015 secured the funding and future of the competition until the end of the 2020 season. [10] The competition was reduced from nine teams to eight when the ARU did not renew the NRC licence for the Sydney Stars in 2016, citing insufficient player talent to support four competitive teams in New South Wales. [11]

A team from Fiji, the Fijian Drua, joined the competition for the 2017 season. [12] For the 2018 season, the Greater Sydney Rams were dropped from the competition, leaving Sydney with just one team, the Rays. [13]

Sponsorship

The tournament is run by Rugby Australia with the sponsorship of Foxtel which provides television coverage on its Fox Sports channels. [14] Gilbert is the official supplier of all rugby balls. [6]

Player 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

TeamChampionshipsRunners-upSemi-final knockouts
Flag of Queensland.svg Brisbane City 2 (2014, 2015)00
Flag of Western Australia.svg Western Force [lower-alpha 1] 1 (2016)1 (2014)2 (2017, 2018)
Flag of Queensland.svg Queensland Country 1 (2017)1 (2018)0
Flag of Fiji.svg Fijian Drua 1 (2018)01 (2017)
Flag of the Australian Capital Territory.svg Canberra Vikings 02 (2015, 2017)1 (2018)
Flag of New South Wales.svg NSW Country 01 (2016)1 (2014)
Flag of Victoria (Australia).svg Melbourne Rising 003 (2014, 2015, 2016)
Flag of New South Wales.svg Sydney Rays 001 (2016)
Flag of New South Wales.svg Sydney Stars 001 (2015)

Wins by State/Territory/Nation

State/TerritoryChampionshipsRunners-upSemi-final knockouts
Flag of Queensland.svg Queensland 310
Flag of Western Australia.svg Western Australia 112
Flag of Fiji.svg Fiji 101
Flag of the Australian Capital Territory.svg Australian Capital Territory 021
Flag of New South Wales.svg New South Wales 013
Flag of Victoria (Australia).svg Victoria 003

By year

Year# of Teams Final Semi-final knockouts
ChampionScoreRunner-upHigher-rankedLower-ranked
2014 9 Brisbane City Flag of Queensland.svg 37–26 Flag of Western Australia.svg Perth Spirit Flag of Victoria (Australia).svg Melbourne Rising Flag of New South Wales.svg NSW Country
2015 9 Brisbane City Flag of Queensland.svg 21–10 Flag of the Australian Capital Territory.svg Canberra Vikings Flag of Victoria (Australia).svg Melbourne Rising Flag of New South Wales.svg Sydney Stars
2016 8 Perth Spirit Flag of Western Australia.svg 20–16 Flag of New South Wales.svg NSW Country Flag of New South Wales.svg Sydney Rays Flag of Victoria (Australia).svg Melbourne Rising
2017 9 Queensland Country   Flag of Queensland.svg 42–28 Flag of the Australian Capital Territory.svg Canberra Vikings Flag of Fiji.svg Fijian Drua Flag of Western Australia.svg Perth Spirit
2018 8 Fijian Drua   Flag of Fiji.svg 36–26 Flag of Queensland.svg Queensland Country Flag of Western Australia.svg Western Force Flag of the Australian Capital Territory.svg Canberra Vikings

Emerging States Championship

In 2018 an additional competition was formed for teams from so-called "Emerging States", [15] featuring the Adelaide Black Falcons, Victoria Country Barbarians, Northern Territory Mosquitoes and Tasmania Jack Jumpers. The first Competition was held in Adelaide in September 2018, and the Black Falcons were the inaugural winners. [16]

YearTeamsChampionRunner-upThirdFourth
2018 4 Flag of South Australia.svg Adelaide Black Falcons Flag of Tasmania.svg Tasmania Jack Jumpers Flag of the Northern Territory.svg Northern Territory Mosquitoes Flag of Victoria (Australia).svg Victoria Country Barbarians

See also

Notes

  1. The Western Force tally includes results for the team's previous incarnation as Perth Spirit in NRC from 2014–2017.

Related Research Articles

Rugby union in Australia

Rugby union is a winter sport in Australia with a history dating back to 1864. Although traditionally most popular in Australia's rugby football strongholds of New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT, it is played throughout the nation.

Brisbane City (rugby union) rugby union team

Brisbane City is an Australian rugby union football team based in Brisbane that competes in the National Rugby Championship (NRC). The team is one of two Queensland sides in the competition, the other being Queensland Country. Brisbane City is organised and managed by the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU), with the coaching and training programs utilised by the Queensland Reds being extended to players joining the team from the Reds and Queensland Premier Rugby teams.

Queensland Country (NRC team)

Queensland Country is an Australian rugby union football team that competes in the National Rugby Championship (NRC). The team is one of two Queensland sides in the competition, the other being Brisbane City. Queensland Country is organised and managed by the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU), with the coaching and training programs used at the Queensland Reds extended to players joining the team from the Reds, Premier and Country rugby teams.

Sydney Stars

The Sydney Stars is a former Australian rugby union football team that competed in the National Rugby Championship (NRC) in 2014 and 2015. The Stars team was established as a joint venture between the Sydney University and Balmain rugby clubs, and was one of four New South Wales teams in the competition.

Sydney Rays sports team

The Sydney Rays is an Australian rugby union team that competes in the National Rugby Championship (NRC). The team is one of two sides from New South Wales in the competition; the other being the NSW Country Eagles.

Greater Sydney Rams

The Greater Sydney Rams, originally known as the Western Sydney Rams, is a former rugby union team from Australia that was disbanded in 2018. The Rams won the minor premiership in the 2007 Australian Rugby Championship (ARC), and then competed in the National Rugby Championship (NRC) from 2014 to 2017.

Perth Spirit

The Perth Spirit is a former rugby union team based in Perth, Western Australia, that played in the National Rugby Championship (NRC) from 2014 to 2017, winning the competition in 2016. The team was formed in 2007 to compete in the Australian Rugby Championship (ARC).

Canberra Vikings sports team

The Canberra Vikings, formerly the Canberra Kookaburras, is an Australian rugby union football team that competes in the National Rugby Championship (NRC). The team is based at Viking Park in Wanniassa, and is backed by the Tuggeranong Vikings Group as the licence holder, with the Brumbies and University of Canberra as non-financial partners.

National Womens Rugby Championship

The National Women's Championship was the highest-tier competition of women's rugby union in Australia through the 2017 season. It is set to be superseded as the top level of the women's sport by the new Super W competition from the 2018 season forward.

Melbourne Rising

The Melbourne Rising is an Australian rugby union team based in Melbourne that competes in the National Rugby Championship (NRC). The team represents the rugby community in Victoria and is organised and managed by Rugby Victoria with the coaching and training programs used by the Melbourne Rebels being extended to players joining the team from the Rebels, the local Dewar Shield competition, and local Victorian juniors.

Rugby union has a long history in Australia, with the first club being formed in 1863 at Sydney University. Today it holds tier one status with World Rugby and has over 82,000 players nationwide.

2014 National Rugby Championship

The 2014 National Rugby Championship was the inaugural season of Australia's National Rugby Championship, involving nine professional rugby union teams from around Australia. The competition kicked off on 21 August 2014. The final was held on 1 November 2014 and won by Brisbane City.

New South Wales Country Eagles

The New South Wales Country Eagles is an Australian rugby union football team competes in the National Rugby Championship (NRC). The team was founded by a group of patrons associated with country rugby in New South Wales. The Eagles team plays home matches in regional centres of New South Wales including Armidale, Goulburn, Orange, and Tamworth.

Kevin Foote is a South African professional rugby union football coach, and a former player for the South African sevens national team. He is currently based in Australia and is the defence coach at the Melbourne Rebels team that plays in the Super Rugby competition.

David Wessels, is a professional rugby union football coach. He is currently the head coach of the Melbourne Rebels team that plays in the Super Rugby competition. He was previously head coach at the Western Force, and co-head coach of the Perth Spirit in Australia's National Rugby Championship. South African born, Wessels is a naturalised Australian citizen.

The 2015 National Rugby Championship was the second season of Australia's National Rugby Championship, involving nine professional rugby union teams from around Australia. The competition kicked off 20 August 2015.

The 2016 National Rugby Championship was the third season of Australia's National Rugby Championship. It involved eight professional rugby union teams, one team fewer than in the previous two seasons. The competition kicked off on 27 August 2016.

Tom Cusack Australian rugby union player (1990-)

Thomas "Tom" Cusack is an Australian professional rugby union player who plays as a flanker for the Brumbies in Super Rugby. He is currently captain of the Canberra Vikings team in Australia's National Rugby Championship, and previously represented Australia in rugby sevens.

The 2017 National Rugby Championship was the fourth season of Australia's National Rugby Championship. It involved nine professional rugby union teams, one more than the previous year, with eight teams from Australia and one team from Fiji.

References

  1. "Historic 2017 NRC draw released as Fiji enters the fray". Australian Rugby (Press release). 21 July 2017. Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  2. "ARU Board approves nine team National Rugby Championship to start in August 2014". rugby.com.au (Press release). 24 March 2014. Archived from the original on 24 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  3. "SA Rugby misses out on an NRC Team". sarugby.com.au. 24 March 2014. Archived from the original on 24 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  4. "Australia relaunches National Rugby Championship". rugbyweek.com. 24 March 2014. Archived from the original on 24 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  5. "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.
  6. 1 2 "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.
  7. "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.
  8. "Law variation". Australian Rugby Union. Archived from the original on 13 August 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-13.
  9. McKay, Brett (13 Aug 2015). "Law variations to continue in NRC Season 2". The Roar. Archived from the original on 13 August 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  10. Payten, Iain (4 March 2015). "New broadcasting deal ensures future of National Rugby Championship until at least 2020". The Courier Mail. News. Archived from the original on 9 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  11. "Sydney Stars victims of National Rugby Championship consolidation". The Daily Telegraph. 11 February 2016. Archived from the original on 4 June 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  12. "FRU Reveals Fiji NRC Official Name and Kit" (Press release). Fiji Rugby Union. 16 August 2017. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  13. NSW to field two NRC teams in 2018 - Beth Newman, Rugby.com.au, 6 June 2018
  14. 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.
  15. "South Australia claim Emerging States Championship". Rugby Australia. 24 September 2018. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  16. Jack Hislop (26 September 2018). "The NT's representative rugby team has finished second at the Emerging States Championships". Northern Territory News. Retrieved 14 October 2018.

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