To celebrate the two-month countdown before the second Buildcorp National Rugby Championship kicks off, the Australian Rugby Union has announced the fixture schedule for the 2015 season.
The 2015 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship will once again visit regional areas across the Eastern seaboard in New South Wales (Tamworth, Newcastle and Bathurst), Queensland (Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast) and Victoria (Frankston, Morwell and Geelong), giving Rugby fans across Australia the opportunity to engage with an elite Rugby competition.
In a mouthwatering re-match of the 2014 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship Grand Final, champions Brisbane City will host Perth Spirit at Ballymore Stadium on Thursday, 20 August in this season’s curtain-raiser broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.
A pair of all-New South Wales blockbusters also catch the eye in Round 1, with the North Harbour Rays entertaining the Sydney Stars at Manly Oval, while the New South Wales Country Eagles travel to Merrylands RSL Park to take on the Greater Sydney Rams.
The Queensland Derby headlines Round 3 when Queensland Country host Brisbane City at the Clive Berghofer Stadium in Toowoomba.
For the first time, the Melbourne Rising will take its home NRC fixtures outside of the city when they play the Greater Sydney Rams in Morwell in Round 5, the New South Wales Country Eagles at Simonds Stadium in Geelong in Round 7 and the Sydney Stars at Frankston Oval in Round 9.
Perth Spirit will be looking for a similar result from last year’s Semi-Final against the Melbourne Rising when they meet the same opponents at McGillivray Fields in Mount Claremont, Perth in Round 6. Another derby features on the same weekend with the Sydney Stars playing the Greater Sydney Rams at Leichhardt Oval.
With the top four sides on the ladder at the end of the regular season making the finals, the 2015 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship Semi-Finals will take place on the weekend of 24/25 October, with the Grand Final a week later.
In 2014, the Australian Rugby Union introduced a host of new law variations and innovations to encourage attacking, free-flowing Rugby. By the end of the inaugural season, there were 358 tries in 39 matches, an average of 9.2 a game.
FOX SPORTS will again broadcast one match a week LIVE on Thursday night throughout the season.
2015 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship FOX SPORTS Broadcast Games (all games kick off at 7.30pm AEST)
Round 1, Thu 20 August, Brisbane City v Perth Spirit; Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane
Round 2, Thu 27 August, Sydney Stars v Queensland Country; Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
Round 3, Thu 3 September, North Harbour Rays v Melbourne Rising; Manly Oval, Manly
Round 4, Thu 10 September, Brisbane City v North Harbour Rays; Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane
Round 5, Thu 17 September, UC Vikings v Sydney Stars; Viking Park, Canberra
Round 6, Thu 24 September, NSW Country Eagles v Queensland Country; Newcastle No 2 Sports Ground, Newcastle
Round 7, Thu 1 October, Greater Sydney Rams v North Harbour Rays; Pirtek Stadium, Sydney
Round 8, Thu 8 October, Melbourne Rising v NSW Country Eagles, Simonds Stadium, Geelong
Round 9, Thu 15 October, Queensland Country v UC Vikings; Stockland Park, Sunshine Coast