Super Rugby


7/4/2018

National Rugby Championship 2018 Fixtures Announced


The Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) will take more National Rugby Championship (NRC) games to its clubs and regions than ever before in 2018.

McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City and Bond University Queensland Country will continue to engage Queensland's clubs as the NRC takes this exciting family-friendly form of the game closer to its grassroots fanbase.

Brisbane City's regular season home games will take place at Norths Rugby Club, Wests Rugby Club and Easts Rugby Club, while Queensland Country will play its home games at Bond University Rugby Club, Mike Carney Toyota Park in Townsville and BB Print Stadium in Mackay.

The NRC, which runs from September 1 to October 27, is a more streamlined competition than previous years with eight clubs - including a stand-alone Sydney franchise - now represented.

The season kicks off on Saturday September 1 with the Fijian Drua facing Melbourne Rising in Suva, Fiji at 1pm before defending champions Queensland Country travel to the nation's capital to face Canberra Vikings at 5pm that day in a repeat of last year's NRC grand final.

The next day, two-time NRC champions Brisbane City kick off their campaign at Norths' Hugh Courtney Oval in Brisbane at 3pm against the reformed Western Force.

Elsewhere, Queensland Rugby fans will be marking their diaries for 3pm on September 30, when Brisbane City face traditional rival Queensland Country for the Andy Purcell Cup at Wests Rugby Club, in a fixture that dates back to 1902.

Sam Cordingley, QRU's GM of Professional Rugby, said: "We saw the benefits last year of taking these games to our clubs and we are placing an even greater emphasis on that this year, particularly in relation to our regional games. Our clubs do an outstanding job in developing players and coaches in Queensland and fans will have even greater opportunity this year to support our two teams in their own backyard.

"Our coaching structures, which we'll announce in the lead-up to our Queensland Premier Rugby Grand Final, will reflect the strength of the coaching pathway in Queensland and both of our squads will feature developing talent from Queensland Premier Rugby and include players who have been developed in regional areas of Queensland."

NRC Round 2 will host the first game in our country regions, as Queensland Country run out in Townsville against Melbourne Rising.

True to the family-friendly approach of the competition, many NRC fixtures have been scheduled to align with local community Rugby events. It means sports fans around the country will have more opportunities than ever before to watch the nation's best Rugby players in their own backyard, with Wallaby squad members expected to be released for NRC duty during The Rugby Championship to play alongside some of the nation's rising club rugby stars.

Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle said: "Being accessible to the community is the key to the success of the NRC and it is great to see many teams take the initiative to spread their home matches around and give more fans the opportunity to watch some quality Rugby in their own communities.

"We also thank FOX SPORTS for their continued support of the NRC in providing access for all Australians to get behind the competition through its TV and digital platforms." 

FOX SPORTS is the only place to watch every game of the NRC with no ad-breaks during play. Two games per week will be broadcast on TV, with the remaining two games available to stream LIVE via foxsports.com.au/live and the FOX SPORTS App.

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