The Horan-Little Shield is a trophy in Australia's domestic rugby union competition. Proposed to the ARU after the conclusion of the 2014 National Rugby Championship by members of the supporter website 'Green and Gold Rugby', it was first played for in 2015.
The Shield is modelled off New Zealand's Ranfurly Shield, in which the holding union must defend the shield in challenge matches, and a successful challenger becomes the new holder of the Shield. The team who holds the Shield at the conclusion of the National Rugby Championship is considered to have won the Shield for that year, and are the only team to have their name engraved on it.
The Shield is named for Tim Horan and Jason Little to symbolise friendship and community. Horan and Little are very close friends, and played with each other from junior rugby all the way to the Wallabies.
The Shield was first won by Melbourne Rising before the 2015 season, by virtue of their undefeated record in the inaugural NRC regular season. It is currently held by Brisbane City, who defeated Melbourne Rising on their second defence, 49-21 at Harlequin Rugby Union Club, Melbourne, on 29 August 2015.
The Shield shares the basic rules of its New Zealand counterpart.
Whoever holds the Horan-Little Shield is required to put it up for challenge at every home fixture. They are not obliged to accept challenges for away fixtures, though they may choose to do so - Melbourne Rising notably defended the Shield for the first time in an away fixture against Queensland Country.
In the event the holder wins two consecutive home games, or challenges, the Shield is then automatically up for challenge for each subsequent game the holder plays, whether home or away.
The team holding the Shield at the end of the regular season (or finals game if they choose to play for the Shield then) will be the only team whose name is engraved on the Shield.