The new national competition involving teams from Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Darwin, NSW Country and QLD Country will now be known as the Australian Rugby Shield.

The working name Commonwealth Cup has been dropped in favour of the Australian Rugby Shield, to enhance the ‘rugby’ identification with the tournament.

The Australian Rugby Shield is an investment by the ARU in the growth of the game outside the traditional rugby states.

The long-term strategy is to provide a pathway for players and coaches, as well as increase the profile of the game in those areas.

The tournament begins on June 10, with the first kick-off happening in Adelaide, where the Adelaide Falcons take on the NSW Country Cockatoos.

The Darwin Mosquitos host the Incitec Queensland Country Heelers, then Perth Gold take on Melbourne.

For information on fixtures please consult Sportcal.com’s Rugby Union Section