The Australian Rugby Union has unveiled the Wallabies player allocations for the inaugural year of the National Rugby Championship.
The Australian Rugby Union has unveiled the Wallabies player allocations for the inaugural year of Australian's National Rugby Championship.
In general, 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 Wallabies aligned to their team, extra Test players will be counted as part of their contracted playing squad.
All NRC squads will include a combination of players from the 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 Wallabies for the purposes of the 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 and 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 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 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 Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore will not be aligned to an NRC team due to injury although will act as competition ambassador.
The NRC will kick off at 7.30pm local time on Thursday 21 August when Brisbane City hosts the Sydney Stars at Ballymore in Brisbane.
National Rugby Championship: 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, Pek Cowan
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
Sydney Stars: Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Will Skelton
University of Canberra Vikings: Sam Carter, Christian Leali'ifano, Pat McCabe, Scott Sio
About the National Rugby Championship:
â€¢ The National Rugby Championship is Australia's new domestic Rugby competition.
â€¢ Nine teams will compete in the inaugural season of the National Rugby Championship – two teams from Queensland, four from New South Wales and one each from the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Western Australia.
â€¢ The NRC will kick off on Thursday 21 August 2014 and will run until the beginning of November 2014.
â€¢ The competition will include eight preliminary rounds, with each team playing four home and four away games, one bye week, semi-finals and a final.