NRC draw: Sydney v Country in Round 1 blockbuster


Sydney and the Country Eagles will kick-off the National Rugby Championship (NRC) in a huge clash at Apex Oval, Dubbo.

The Eagles, led by Rob Taylor will take their home fixtures to regional areas around the state with a matches in Port Macquarie (v Western Force) and Wollongong (v Fiji Drua).

Chris Whitaker’s Sydney side will play out of Woollahra Oval and Forshaw Rugby Park, with both sides training out of NSW Rugby Union (NSWRU) HQ at Daceyville.

Both coaches in conjunction with NSWRU General Manager of Rugby, Tim Rapp have been working on selections for Sydney and the Eagles and will await the completion of club rugby finals to confirm their respective squads.

“It’s a very collaborative approach between both sides this season, we’re working through some of the finer details but we’re well on the way,” Rapp said.

“The focus is on development – of both players and coaches – throughout this competition and we’re excited about what it’s going to offer both Sydney and the Eagles.

“Stephen O’Brien [NSWRU Country Executive Officer] has been working with our regional centres to lock in a variety of locations – taking rugby out to the country is a really beneficial part of this competition.”

Aside from the opportunity to provide more game time to some of the state’s most promising talent, Rugby Australia will also trial two law variations for World Rugby in this year’s NRC with law 21 amended and an introduction of a 50:22 kicking play.

Law 21 will change to see the defending team be rewarded for good defence with a goal line drop out when the ball is held up in the in-goal area.

A 50:22 will reward a team that kicks the ball indirectly from open play or a free-kick from within their own half and the ball reaches the touchline inside their opponents’ 22 or the ball reaches the touchline inside their opponent’s half.

The attacking team will then have the lineout throw, rewarding aggressive territorial kicking with defending backs having to cover the option of a 50:22 kick.

One match per round will be broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS with the remaining games to be shown LIVE on Kayo Sports and

2019 National Rugby Championship Draw (all times are local)

Round 1:
Saturday 31 August - NSW Country v Sydney, 12.00pm, Apex Oval, Dubbo*

Round 2:
Saturday 7 September - Melbourne Rising v NSW Country, 3.30pm, Bailey Reserve, Adelaide*
Sunday 8 September - Brisbane City v Sydney, 1.00pm, Bond University, Gold Coast

Round 3:
Saturday 14 September - Sydney v Queensland Country, 12.00pm, Woollahra Oval, Sydney*
Saturday 14 September - NSW Country v Fijian Drua, 4.00pm, WIN Stadium, Wollongong

Round 4:
Saturday 21 September - Fijian Drua v Sydney, 2.00pm, Churchill Park, Lautoka*
Sunday 22 September - Brisbane City v NSW Country, 4.00pm, Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane

Round 5:
Sunday 29 September - Sydney v Melbourne Rising, 1.00pm, Forshaw Rugby Park, Sydney
Sunday 29 September - NSW Country v Western Force, 3.00pm, Port Macquarie Regional Stadium, Port Macquarie

Round 6:
Saturday 5 October - Canberra Vikings v Sydney, 12.00pm, Viking Park, Canberra*
Sunday 6 October - Queensland Country v NSW Country, 3.00pm, Bond University, Gold Coast

Round 7:
Friday 11 October - Canberra Vikings v NSW Country, 6.00pm, Viking Park, Canberra
Saturday 12 October - Sydney v Western Force, 12.00pm, Woollahra Oval, Sydney*

Saturday 19 October - 1st v 4th*
Sunday 20 October - 2nd v 3rd*

Saturday 26 October*

*FOX SPORTS Match of the round






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