13 September, 2016. 12:34
ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
THE BOARD OF AUSTRALIAN RUGBY Union has lashed out at the suggestion that people don’t care about the National Rugby Champion, the sport’s third-tier competition that operates between a club and state level.
Created to fill the void between amateur and professional rugby, the NRC runs in a similar capacity to New Zealand’s ITM Cup. However, the Australian championship has failed to capture the hearts of rugby fans.
“Thousands of people are attending and supporting NRC teams, the suggestion that people don’t care about it is absolutely untrue and ridiculous,” said Australian Rugby CEO Bill Pulver.
“It’s the people who still care about the Wallabies, even after they get flogged. It’s the people who are still interested in rugby after their local Super Rugby team gets bailed out in the quarter-finals. These are die-hard, dyed-in-the-wool rugby fans. As long as they’re around, the NRC will continue to flourish,”
“The Sydney Golden Eagles have seen a membership growth of nearly 25% this year along and the Melbourne Rebels are shaping up to be champions again this year. Rugby union in Victoria is exploding. We’re very excited.” he said.
Nonetheless, Glen Dowling, president of the Betoota Brahmans Rugby Union Club has all but confirmed that nobody really cares about the National Rugby Championship after failing to name a single player in his local NRC team.
While he has in past said he’s a fan of the Queensland Country side, he doesn’t really follow them but if he’s at the pub on a Thursday night, he’ll watch them between yarns and slaps on the brickie’s laptop.
“Yeah, I like them. I like the idea of the NRC, but I don’t really follow it, you know?” explained the 29-year-old left-armed orthodox.
“If they win the comp, I’ll claim them but yeah, don’t really care if they win or lose to be honest. It’s good for the game and everything, but Jesus. Not much goes on. They need to target the youngsters, when I was a kid the Reds and the Wallabies both had youth clubs and they’d send you shit like hats and shirts,”
“Now they do fuck all and wonder why they’re losing to fucking gay-eff-ell and soccer. It’s just dumb, let the boys play.”