NRC good for future: Browning

AUSTRALIAN U20s captain Curtis Browning believes the newly announced National Rugby Championship will help produce future Super Rugby and Wallaby players.

The Australian Rugby Union yesterday confirmed the NRC would kick off in August, after the Super Rugby competition.

The NRC will involve nine teams, with two coming from Queensland, four from New South Wales and one each from the ACT, Victoria and Western Australia. One of the aims of the competition is to allow passionate rugby supporters in regional Australia to reconnect with the game through teams representing Queensland Country and NSW Country.

"As a young player coming through you want to push yourself against the best," Browning said.

"To have an opportunity to go up against some of the elite players week in and week out is going to be great for the development of our young players and great for the game."

Queensland will split its Reds Super Rugby squad into City and Country sides.

The Queensland City side, likely to play out of Ballymore, would largely comprise players from City Premier clubs as well and players from the Gold and Sunshine Coast, while players with a distinct country heritage, such as winger Rod Davies from Rockhampton and prop Greg Holmes from Warwick, would line up for Queensland Country.

Wallaby players will not take part in the NRC, but could use the competition to return from injury.

Each of the nine teams will play eight games, four at home and four away, and will have one bye. The top four teams will play in semi-finals with the winners into a grand final.

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