RUGBY

Inside Sport - - GAME TIME -

The ARU’s pet project, the Na­tional Rugby Cham­pi­onship (from Aug 21), kicks off, set to be­come our equiv­a­lent to the ITM Cup in New Zealand and Cur­rie Cup in South Africa. Nine teams will con­test eight games each, with the com­pe­ti­tion run­ning over 11 weeks. Bill Pul­ver (above) and com­pany will no doubt be hop­ing that the NRC fills the gap in the rugby path­way for the play­ers, or that we all want to keep on watch­ing some kind of foot­ball through Oc­to­ber. One thing, how­ever: what’s with the team names? Mel­bourne Ris­ing sounds like a char­i­ta­ble or­gan­i­sa­tion, while the Uni of Can­berra Vik­ings is one of those un­for­tu­nate com­pounds – is there ac­tu­ally a school for Vik­ings in Can­berra? Fox will broad­cast a live game on Thurs­day nights for the first five rounds, begin­ning with Bris­bane City vs Sydney Stars (Aug 21).

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