NRC: Not just a pathway for players

by Montanna Clare

From grassroots clubs to Super Rugby, the Buildcorp NRC pathway is a rite of passage for players and coaches alike.

While players like Samu Kerevi and Nick Frisby have the NRC to thank for their positions in the Queensland Reds side and debut for the Wallabies this year, it’s coaches like Nick Stiles and Rodney Seib who are also being given a chance to flex and strengthen their skill sets too.

Stiles, who lead Brisbane City to two consecutive championships since NRC’s inaugural season in 2014, was recently announced as the new Reds coach for the next two Super Rugby seasons.

Nick Stiles had success in coaching in the NRC before getting the top job at the Reds. Photo: Getty Images

“You look at the NRC and it’s a fantastic tool for me to step up and be the man in charge,” he said.

“In that process you got to test things out and I’m very proud of what we achieved at the NRC and now I get that chance to take it to Super Rugby level.”

As a player, Stiles followed the path from Premier Rugby to Super Rugby before becoming a Wallaby and returned as a coach at the University of Queensland in 2006.

As assistant coach to Stiles and the Brisbane City side in their back-to-back titles, Rodney Seib was announced as the new head coach and Stiles replacement for the 2016 NRC season.

Brisbane City have won back-to-back Buildcorp NRC titles. Photo: Getty Images

“The team’s looking to keep the momentum that they had at the end of last season and build on what Stiles has set up”, Seib said.

As the head coach for Queensland Premier Rugby side Sunnybank since 2012, Seib said the NRC platform is a fantastic opportunity for coaches to “step up and see what we can do.”

Additionally, he said the pathway that the NRC provides for players is perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of the competition, as it showcases the players that have come through the system from grassroots rugby and risen to the challenge of national competition.

Another man stepping up, is Northern Suburbs head coach Simon Cron who led the side to their first Shute Shield title in 41 years.

Awarded the 2015 Shute Shield Coach of the Year, Cron was unveiled as the Macquarie University Sydney Rays head coach for 2016 after Damien Cummins stood down.

The Buildcorp NRC kicks-off on the 27th of August, with two games being aired on Fox Sports each week, the first of which has the NSW Country Eagles and Brisbane City going head-to-head at Sydney University at 3pm.