It is an Australian domestic trophy and it is modelled off New Zealand's Ranfurly Shield.
It is based on a challenge system: the holding union must defend the shield in challenge matches and a successful challenger becomes the new holder.
It was proposed to ARU after the conclusion of 2014 National Rugby Championship by members of the supporter web site Green and Gold Rugby.
Melbourne Rising, unbeaten in 2014 regular season, were presented with the shield.
The holder is required to put it up challenge at every home fixture. It is not forced to accept challenges for away fixtures though it may choose to do so: notably, the first ever defense of the Shield was an away fixture.
In the event the holder wins two consecutive home challenges, the Shield is then automatically up for challenge for each subsequent game the holder plays, whether home or away.
The knok out finale phase matches are not valid as shield challenges.