Australian Rugby Shield

The Telstra Australian Rugby Shield is a national rugby union competition intended to unearth new talent and foster rugby union development outside the traditional rugby states New South Wales and Queensland.

It aims to provide regional teams and developing unions with a regular schedule to compete against each other at a higher level of competition than would normally be possible in their individual states or territories. Conducted under the Super 14 style rules and regulations, the competition aims to assist players, coaches, managers and referees in their professional development. It gives them the opportunity to achieve a pathway to full representative level including education in coaching, selecting and refereeing.

The tournament is also an important step in the development of rugby union in Australia and provides an opportunity for the ARU to identify and unearth talented players nationally.

History

The tournament was first played in 2000, and is played as a single round robin over five weekends with a first-past-the-post system in place for the first time in 2004.

The competition for 2006 is composed of eight teams with ACT & Southern NSW and Tasmania entering teams for the first time. The competition will be played in two pools with a cross pool final series.The ARU has determined that the competition is to exclude contracted and academy players.

In 2007 the tournament reverted to a 6 team Home & Away Round Robin Tournament with the exclusion of Perth Gold & ACT & Southern NSW Vikings. These two teams were excluded as the ARU determined the local competitions suitable enough to foster talent for the new Australian Rugby Championship (Perth Spirit & Canberra Vikings)

Coverage

The competition is covered on national television by the digital channel ABC2. It showcases two of the Australian Rugby Shield matches each round.

Participating teams

"For 2007 Australian Rugby Shield"

*Adelaide Black Falcons
*Darwin Mosquitoes
*Melbourne Axemen
*New South Wales Country Cockatoos
*Queensland Country Heelers
*Tasmania Jack Jumpers

Champions

* 2000 Queensland Country Heelers
* 2001 New South Wales Country Cockatoos
* 2002 New South Wales Country Cockatoos
* 2003 Perth Gold
* 2004 New South Wales Country Cockatoos
* 2005 Perth Gold
* 2006 ACT & Southern NSW Vikings
* 2007 Melbourne Axemen

ee also

* Australia national rugby union team
* Super 14
* 2006 Australian Rugby Shield


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