Nick Phipps (left) will be aligned with the Sydney Stars and Rob Horne with the Rams (Image: Getty)
The Australian Rugby Union today announced the clubs many of the Qantas Wallabies representatives will be aligned to for the 2015 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship season.
Players recognised as Qantas Wallabies for the 2015 NRC are those that were part of the 2014 Spring Tour plus Stephen Moore, Tatafu Polota-Nau and David Pocock. Each NRC team was asked to nominate to the ARU the Wallabies they were seeking for their allocation.
New South Wales Waratahs duo Nick Phipps and Bernard Foley will be aligned with the Sydney Stars, while powerhouse Sean McMahon headlines Melbourne Rising’s Wallabies.
Brumbies trio Henry Speight, Christian Lealiifano and Joe Tomane will be affiliated to the UC Vikings. Meanwhile, Wallabies flanker Michael Hooper will be aligned with the North Harbour Rays with James Slipper and Saia Fainga’a the marquee names for Queensland Country.
Elsewhere, Sam Carter and Matt Toomua will represent NSW Country Eagles while James Horwill and Will Genia will be aligned with 2014 Champions Brisbane City. Tetera Faulkner and Kyle Godwin will be playing for Perth Spirit and Tatafu Polota-Nau and Rob Horne affiliated with the Greater Sydney Rams.
Rob Clarke, General Manager – Professional Rugby, said: “Everybody involved in Australian Rugby cannot wait until the second Buildcorp National Rugby Championship gets underway. The announcement of the allocation of our star Wallabies players to clubs in the NRC whets the appetite still further.
“Last year, without the NRC, Quade Cooper may well not have had the game-time to impress the Wallabies’ management ahead of the 2014 Spring Tour had it not been for his starring role playing for Brisbane City in the competition. This gives a little snapshot underlining the importance of the competition in our pathways.
“I know for a fact that each player is looking forward to being a part of their respective NRC club. Coupled with the fact we’ll have hungry club players looking to impress and Super Rugby representatives going up against each other, this season is shaping up to be one to remember.”
Announcements in relation to other contracting arrangements, including players contracted to Super Rugby provinces, will be announced by the nine competing sides in the weeks leading up to the National Rugby Championship kick-off on 20 August.
For the full 2015 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship draw, click here
2015 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship – Marquee Player Alignment
Brisbane City: James Horwill, Quade Cooper, Will Genia
Greater Sydney Rams: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Rob Horne, Kurtley Beale, Benn Robinson
Melbourne Rising: Sean McMahon, Luke Jones, Tom English
North Harbour Rays: Michael Hooper
NSW Country Eagles: Sam Carter, Matt Toomua
Queensland Country: James Slipper, Rob Simmons, Saia Fainga’a
Perth Spirit: Tetera Faulkner, Kyle Godwin
Sydney Stars: Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley, Israel Folau, Will Skelton
UC Vikings: Henry Speight, Christian Lealiifano, Joe Tomane