Super Rugby doors open for Queanbeyan with NRC

Queanbeyan Whites contracted player JP Smith says the new National Rugby Championship will help young Whites players make the Brumbies. 									 Photo: Joshua Matic.

Queanbeyan Whites contracted player JP Smith says the new National Rugby Championship will help young Whites players make the Brumbies. Photo: Joshua Matic.

A new competition, a new pathway to the ACT Brumbies, and a new experience for Queanbeyan Whites players.

This will be the National Rugby Championship, a brand new domestic club rugby competition that has been re-introduced by the Australian Rugby Union this year to bridge the gap between local club rugby and the Super Rugby competition in Australia.

And three Queanbeyan Whites players in JP Smith, Les Makin and Robbie Coleman will play for the Canberra Vikings, with their season kicking off this Saturday against the Perth Spirit at Viking Park in Tuggeranong.

Whites prop Smith will lead a huge Vikings forward pack that also includes Makin, Brumby Scott Sio, Sione Taula, Smith's brother Ruan, and Allan Alaalatoa.

Smith said the competition would provide more Whites players with a pathway to the Brumbies in the future.

"There's a lot of depth, especially at Queanbeyan, so it will be a massive opportunity for younger blokes to step up," he said.

Smith played for Western Province in the Vodacom Cup competition in South Africa, and moved to Canberra in 2011 when he joined the Whites, before making the Brumbies squad.

Having seen a professional domestic club rugby competition work in South Africa, he said the ARU should do everything it can to keep the NRC alive.

"A lot of money was wasted in the old Australian Rugby Championship [in 2007] on stadiums and some other things, but they need to put the resources into the local communities and if locals get behind it, the competition will become bigger each year," he said.

Smith said his side's first ever NRC match had been hard to prepare for as they were stepping into the unknown.

"We just need to focus on what we can do, and if there are any problems, at half time we'll need to adjust," he said.

Kick-off will be at 3pm.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop