The National Rugby Championship (NRC) is Australia’s only national rugby competition. The NRC is now entering the fifth year of competition having been conceived in 2013.
Western Australia has been represented in the NRC since inception with the Perth Spirit flying the flag for the state from 2014 to 2017 in the famous black and gold colours. In an exciting move, the Sea of Blue will take the NRC by storm in 2018 with the Western Force entering the competition.
In 2018 the competition will feature eight teams; Western Force, Brisbane City, Melbourne Rising, Queensland Country, Sydney Rays, UC Vikings, NSW Country, and the Fijian Drua.
Brisbane City claimed back-to-back titles in the competition in 2014 and 2015 with the Perth Spirit claiming the 2016 title.
In the regular rounds of the competition, teams also have the chance to play for the Horan-Little Shield, a challenge trophy that is on offer when the holder comes up against an opponent. The winner keeps the shield, but surrenders it in the event of a loss.
The future of the NRC has been secured for the next five years, after the announcement of a new ARU broadcast deal in December 2015.
The Perth Spirit competed in the National Rugby Championship from 2013 to 2017.
The Perth Spirit were first established in 2007 and played one season in the Australian Rugby Championship and adopted the unofficial nickname of the ‘Perth Pigs’, a name that became a hit with the WA rugby community.
Spirit was used to both prepare Western Force players for the upcoming season and to develop local talent from the Fortescue Premier Grade, providing a pathway to the next level for the most talented prospects in the state.
In 2016 the Perth Spirit claimed their maiden NRC title with a 20-16 win over the NSW Country Eagles at Scully Park in Tamworth lead by captain Heath Tessmann and Head Coach Dwayne Nestor.
2014 – Runners Up, 2015 – Fifth, 2016 – Champions, 2017 – Semi-Finalists
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