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National Rugby Championship
ARU fields 41 expressions of NRC interest
ESPN Staff
January 16, 2014

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has received 41 Expressions of Interest from individuals, businesses, syndicates and existing clubs wanting to be to be involved in the inaugural National Rugby Championship (NRC), which will kick off in August. The expressions have been submitted from all states and the Australian Capital Territory, including from country New South Wales and country Queensland.

"This will be a truly national competition, and it's great to see we have more than 40 groups, clubs or individuals who could form syndicates with other organisations, partners and universities to compete," ARU chief executive Bill Pulver said.

"A formal tendering process has now begun and we will be in a position to announce the successful teams to contest the National Rugby Championship in early March."

The NRC Commission set up to establish the competition, chaired by independent sports consultant John Boultbee and including representatives from the ARU, the Rugby Union Players' Association, Super Rugby, Fox Sports and Foxtel, will now assess the tenders and select the appropriate teams. The teams will be selected according to a number of criteria including financial performance, professional team staffing structure and environment, commitment to player development, venue facilities, links to Super Rugby clubs, and current or potential fan base.

The ARU expects the competition to include eight to ten teams from major population centres, with teams from New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, ACT and Western Australia expected to be represented.

The NRC will run annually at the end of Super Rugby and club rugby seasons, from August to October, to complement existing competitions such as Premier Rugby in Sydney and Queensland.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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