The Australian Rugby Union has today unveiled Qantas Wallabies player allocations for the inaugural year of Australian Rugby’s new domestic competition, the Buildcorp National Rugby Championship.
In general, Qantas Wallabies will be aligned to the NRC team that is affiliated with their Premier Club, with each NRC team entitled to four Test players outside of their 33-man contracted squad.
If an NRC team elects to have more than four Qantas Wallabies aligned to their team, extra Test players will be counted as part of their contracted playing squad.
All Buildcorp NRC squads will include a combination of players from the Qantas Wallabies; Super Rugby; and club Rugby representatives from across the country.
Announcements regarding other player contracting arrangements will be made by each NRC team in the weeks leading into the opening round of the competition, which kicks off on Thursday 21 August.
Players recognised as Qantas Wallabies for the purposes of the Buildcorp NRC are those that were named in Australia’s 32-man playing squad for the June Test series against France.
ARU General Manager – National Teams & Rugby Operations, Andrew Fagan, said the announcement of player allocations was an important milestone for the competition.
“Rugby fans naturally have a strong connection to their national representatives, so it’s important for them to know which players are affiliated with their chosen NRC teams,” Mr Fagan said.
“The alignment of current Test players to the Buildcorp NRC is significant for the promotion of individual teams and the competition, while the potential still exists for players to train or play with their affiliated NRC team when they are not on international duty.
“Feedback we’ve received about the Buildcorp NRC from our Test representatives has been really positive.
“They are looking forward to being ambassadors for the competition and helping to shape and influence the culture of their respective NRC teams.”
Senior Qantas Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore will not be aligned to an NRC team due to injury although will act as competition ambassador.
ARU’s broadcast partner FOX SPORTS will broadcast one live NRC match each week. This will form part of a bumper Thursday night Rugby line-up, starting with live coverage of the New Zealand ITM Cup at 5.30pm, a live NRC match from 7.30pm to 9.30pm, leading into FOX SPORTS Rugby HQ.
The Buildcorp NRC will kick off at 7.30pm on Thursday 21 August when Brisbane City hosts the Sydney Stars at Ballymore in Brisbane.
To view the complete Buildcorp National Rugby Championship draw for 2014, please visit: www.rugby.com.au/nrc/FixturesDraw
Buildcorp National Rugby Championship – Qantas Wallabies Alignment
Brisbane City: Will Genia, James Horwill
Greater Sydney Rams: Kurtley Beale: Ben Alexander, Rob Horne, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tevita Kuridrani
Melbourne Rising: Scott Higginbotham, Luke Jones
North Harbour Rays: Scott Fardy, Michael Hooper, Wycliff Palu
NSW Country Eagles: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Sekope Kepu, Matt Toomua, Nic White
Queensland Country: Rob Simmons, James Slipper
Perth Spirit: Nathan Charles, Matt Hodgson, Ben McCalman, Pek Cowan
Sydney Stars: Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Will Skelton
University of Canberra Vikings: Sam Carter, Christian Leali’ifano, Pat McCabe, Scott Sio