On Tuesday the Australian Rugby Union ARU announced and confirmed that they will launch a new domestic competition in 2014, the National Rugby Championship.
This competition will be supported by the ARU, Foxtel and Fox Sports and will provide a new pathway for players, coaches and administrators as well as the potential for new revenue into the code.
This competition, which will include 8-10 teams from major population centres from across Australia. Expressions of Interest are now being sought from existing clubs wanting to compete in their own right, clubs wanting to form a syndicate with other organisations such as universities or individuals who would like to apply for a place in the competition.
Expressions of Interest close on 13 January 2014, which will be followed by a formal tendering process, with successful teams expected to be announced by the end of February 2014. Successful teams will be selected based on a number of criteria including: financial performance; professional team staffing structure and environment; commitment to player development; venue facilities; links to Super Rugby clubs; and current or potential fan base.
Following this ARU announcement Sydney University Football Club (SUFC) President David Mortimer AOhas made his club’s intentions quite clear. “SUFC have been at the forefront of club rugby in Australia for well over a decade and we plan to remain a market leader by expressing a very strong interest to be a participating team in the National Rugby Championship in 2014,”said Mortimer.
“SUFC have made a considerable investment into the code and we have the necessary resources, standards and infrastructure required to compete in this competition.”
Mortimer believes SUFC can address the key selection criteria and sees this opportunity as closely aligned with the direction of the club. “Our mission statement outlines our goal of providing the best rugby program for its stakeholders through its work ethic, high standards and innovative approach with a focus on excellence and performance on and off the field, fostering the unique values, life balance and traditions of the finest University and oldest rugby club in Australia. With this in mind SUFC are committed to developing future Super Rugby players and Wallabies and evolving our club.” said Mortimer.
SUFC will look to keep its key stakeholders well informed of any developments over the coming months.
CLICK HERE to read the ARU’s article on the Nation Rugby Championship