What did some of the major personalities involved in the 2015 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship have to say about the draw that was announced on Thursday night?
Brisbane City Head Coach Nick Stiles
"It’s an honour to host the start of the competition again in 2015. The Brisbane City fans were outstanding last year and we can’t wait to see them pack the Ballymore hill again this year.
“It is just reward for Queensland Rugby and Brisbane City, who embraced the spirit of what the NRC was all about in terms of giving young kids opportunities to develop and play an attractive style of Rugby that the fans wanted to see.
“The big thing for Brisbane City is that we continue to use it as a tool to make the Reds better. This season we’ll have a lot of guys who have a year of NRC and a year of Super Rugby under their belts, so they’ll be better for that experience.”
Brisbane City take on Perth Spirit in the season-opener at Ballymore Stadium on Thursday 20 August, kick off 7.30pm LIVE on FOX SPORTS.
Mark Sinderberry, RugbyWA CEO (Perth Spirit)
“I think it was evident from the one NRC game last year and the two Western Force trial games earlier this year that McGillivray Oval is a fantastic venue for rugby.
“We want to continue to ‘fill the hill’ and create that great community atmosphere at all our games this year. It’s a central location, very family friendly and we really want to generate that terrific club and community feel.
“Having a third-tier competition not only provides additional playing opportunities for our Super Rugby players, but is a chance for our aspiring local players to stand out and try pave a way to a professional rugby career.
“We saw the benefits of the Buildcorp NRC in the Force this year, with players Kane Koteka and Ross Haylett-Petty going to make their Super Rugby debuts and Ammon Matuauto, elevated into the Western Force wider training squad after a standout Buildcorp NRC season.”
Perth Spirit play their first home game of the 2015 Buildcorp NRC when they take on the North Harbour Rays at McGillivray Fields, UWA Park on Saturday 29 August, kick off 3.30pm.
Queensland Country Head Coach Jason Gilmore:
“The 2015 NRC draw is an exciting one for Queensland Country. It’s important to take games to regional Queensland and it is something we’re looking forward to.
“It’s important that the players we select in the squad have that connection to country areas, whether they were born there, grew up in the region or are still playing Rugby in the local competition. We have to engage with our fan base in regional areas to build support moving forward.
“Opening the competition against the Melbourne Rising on the Gold Coast will be a good first-up challenge. They were the form team heading into the finals last year and have a strong Super Rugby presence in their squad."
“It’s also an exciting year for country Rugby. The team and the players will embrace the 50th Anniversary of the Queensland Country Rugby Union. The City v Country clash in Toowoomba will provide us with a great opportunity to showcase the rich history of country Rugby in this state.”
The Clive Berghofer Stadium in Toowoomba will play host to the Queensland derby - when Queensland Country take on Brisbane City on Sunday 6 September, kick off 3.30pm.