The Australian Rugby Union has announced it will launch a new domestic rugby competition in 2014.
The Union's chief executive Bill Pulver says the National Rugby Championship will include 8 to 10 teams from major population centres
Pulver says the competition will run at the end of Super Rugby and club rugby seasons from August to October.
He says the new competition will also offer the opportunity to introduce innovative rules to the game to improve the spectacle for our fans.
The competition will be sponsored by Foxtel and Fox Sports which will televise one live match per round plus the semi-finals and final.
Expressions of Interest are now being sought from existing clubs wanting to compete in their own right, clubs wanting to form a syndicate with other organisations such as universities or individuals who would like to apply for a place in the competition.
Successful teams will be selected based on a number of criteria including: financial performance; professional team staffing structure and environment; commitment to player development; venue facilities; links to Super Rugby clubs; and current or potential fan base.