Is This Where We'll Find Our Next Generation Of Wallabies?

27/08/2015 5:54 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 20: Jermaine Ainsley of the Spirit takes on the defence during the round one NRC match between the Brisbane City and Perth Spirit at Ballymore Stadium on August 20, 2015 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Securing a strong foothold in the Australian sporting landscape is a big task for a sport.

There is such a plethora of sports from which Australians can choose and for which they show high levels of dedication when they do have a favourite.

The code of Rugby does not struggle for relevance on the Australian sporting landscape but it can be said it battles for prominence.

A competition like the NRC is looking to not only uncover talent for the future but to attract a broader supporter base and raise awareness of the game beyond the Wallabies and Super Rugby.

The National Rugby Championship (NRC) is the domestic rugby competition which had its inaugural season in 2014.

It’s all about getting to know the next generation of rugby talent and laying the foundations for a development pathway between local and state rugby to the national stage and, of course, the ultimate goal of a Super Rugby contract and even national representation with the Wallabies.

It is also the ARU' effort to bring more Rugby to fore and into the consciousness of the Australian sporting public through exciting, watchable competition.

Last year, the inaugural season of the NRC was hailed a success be it with some guarded but optimistic reviews.

The second season launched last week with much fanfare for those attuned to the rugby grapevine. The first round provided a high standard of fast paced play and plenty of tries.

Jake McIntyre, 21, is an example of the possibilities now being offered to young players. McIntyre plays for the NRC team Brisbane City. He moved to Queensland from northern NSW when he finished school looking for better playing opportunities.

When the NRC was launched it benefitted players like Jake who were trying to get to the next level and prove they could handle the pressure and intensity of elevated competition.

2015 saw McIntyre debut for the Super Rugby team the Queensland Reds on the back of his NRC season. He scored a try and played alongside talent of the calibre of Genia, Hunt and Gill.

The verdict so far is that this is the right direction to take the game of rugby in Australia.

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