Original Article from Melbourne Rebels:

The Melbourne Rising will travel to Suva on September 1 to open the 2018 National Rugby Championship to tackle the Fijian Airways Drua, as Rugby Australia this morning announced the competition’s fixture.

In the fifth edition of the competition, Australia’s best club Rugby players will join current Super Rugby contracted players and the next generation of Super Rugby and Wallabies stars to form Australia’s seven NRC sides, alongside fan favourites, Fiji Airways Drua in the eight-team competition.

The NRC will feature seven rounds that sees the Rising host a home game in Adelaide (against Brisbane City) as part of Victorian rugby’s commitment to rugby in South Australia.

The Rising’s other two home matches will see them take rugby to regional Victoria when they host the Western Force in Ballarat, and Sydney in Geelong.

The Rising will clock up the frequent flyer points, with the Round 6 match (in Geelong) their first game in Victoria. Prior to then, they will have travelled to Fiji, Townsville, Mudgee, Adelaide (home match) and Canberra.

FOX SPORTS is the only place to watch every game of the NRC with no ad-breaks during play. Two games per week will be broadcast on TV, with the remaining two games available to stream LIVE via and the FOX SPORTS App.

Melbourne General Manager – Rugby and Pathways, Nick Ryan said: “The Rising, the Melbourne Rebels and Rugby Victoria are committed to growing our community bases in Victoria with games in Geelong and Ballarat.

“We are also delighted to partner with the South Australian Rugby Union to take a National Rugby Championship fixture to Adelaide this season in what will a great game versus Brisbane City.”

Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Raelene Castle said: “The standout feature of the NRC is that the quality of Rugby has grown each season and there are some exciting changes this year to build the connection with fans. It is also an excellent opportunity for Super Rugby players to share their experiences with young up-and-coming talent.

“Being accessible to the community is the key to the success of the NRC and it is great to see many teams take the initiative to spread their home matches around and give more fans the opportunity to watch some quality Rugby in their own communities.

“We also thank FOX SPORTS for their continued support of the NRC in providing access for all Australians to get behind the competition through its TV and digital platforms.”

Melbourne will update on the announcement and confirmation of their National Rugby Championship squad in due course.


2018 National Rugby Championship Draw – Melbourne Rising

Round 1 – Saturday 1 September
Fiji Drua v Melbourne Rising, Nausori, Ratu Cakobau Park, 3.00pm

Round 2 – Sunday 9 September
Queensland Country v Melbourne Rising, Townsville, Mike Carney Park, 3.00pm

Round 3 – Saturday 15 September
NSW Country v Melbourne Rising, Mudgee, Glen Willow Sports Stadium, 1.00pm

Round 4 – Saturday 22 September
Melbourne Rising v Brisbane City, Adelaide, Bailey Reserve, 12.30pm

Round 5 – Saturday 29 September
Canberra Vikings v Melbourne Rising, Canberra, Viking Park, 7.00pm

Round 6 – Sunday 7 October 
Melbourne Rising v Western Force, Geelong, GMHBA Stadium, 3.00pm

Round 7 – Sunday 14 October
Melbourne Rising v Sydney, Ballarat, St Patrick’s School, 1.00pm

Semi Finals – Saturday 20 October & Sunday 21 October
SF1: 1st v 4th
SF2: 2nd v 3rd