THE Super 6 clubs have issued a joint statement, in which they stress that they want to work positively with all the clubs not involved in this elite league, which is to be created above the domestic game for the 2019-20 season. It states that “there is a collective will from the six clubs to work with all clubs in Scotland to ensure that the Super 6 competition provides a pathway to enhance the whole of Scottish club rugby, not just the six participating clubs.”
However, the thorny issue of which league the ‘club XV’s’ of Super 6 franchises should be placed looks set to run-and-run, with the statement reiterating the Super 6 clubs’ strongly held belief that they should be placed in National One, the second tier of the domestic leagues, when the new competition kicks-off in just over 12 months’ time. The fear amongst the clubs not in Super 6 is that these back-up teams will quickly be promoted to the top tier Championship and act as ‘super-hoovers’ for ambitious players who will view these ‘club XVs’ as the direct line into the semi-pro [part-time] game, leaving the rest of the clubs fighting it out for scraps.
Ayr, Boroughmuir, Heriot’s, Melrose, Stirling County and Watsonians were the successful Super 6 applicants, with Currie Chieftains, Dundee, Edinburgh Academicals, Gala, Glasgow Hawks, and Hawick missing out. The statement comes ahead of what promises to be a stormy SRU AGM on Saturday, when the impact of Super 6 is set to be a key issue.
The full statement is below –
The Super 6 clubs have now had a number of very positive meetings and there is good progress being made in a number of areas. It is important to highlight that there is a collective will from the six clubs to work with all clubs in Scotland to ensure that the Super 6 competition provides a pathway to enhance the whole of Scottish club rugby, not just the six participating clubs.
We would like to provide clarification on the following points:
Super 6 Club XV League Standing
All Scottish clubs were given the opportunity to bid to host a Franchise, competing in a new part-time professional competition alongside their existing rugby club, and it was made clear from the outset that the successful Franchise Club XV would play in the new National 1 based upon:
- National 1 being the right level based on player welfare and competitiveness of teams. The recent changes to the BT cup structure, where the number of competing teams was reduced to 16 due to safety concerns, being the precedent for this decision.
- Agreement that Club XV’s of all clubs should be allowed to find their own natural level within the pyramid structure of Scottish club rugby and therefore being promoted or relegated based on the rules of the competition from a league position determined by the level of performance at which they are able to operate. The primary principle behind this being the preservation of the integrity of the league structure for all clubs.
All Super 6 clubs applied on this basis and have therefore accepted their Club XV being placed in National 1.
Super 6 Squad Sizes
We are having ongoing discussions about the make-up of the 35 man Super 6 playing squad and how we can work with Scottish Rugby and other clubs to ensure that those players not playing Super 6 are able to play regular rugby. This could potentially involve dual registration of players with Championship Clubs, depending on the outcome of the debate on amateurism and agreement from other clubs. We are acutely aware of the perception of player drain on non-Super 6 clubs and therefore this initiative can only be good for the players and all of Scottish Rugby.
Interaction with non-Super 6 clubs
All of the Super 6 Clubs recognise they have a responsibility to support and help develop their local clubs. To enable this, all Super 6 clubs will be arranging regular meetings with clubs within their area to discuss how they can best work together for their mutual benefit. Some of these meetings are happening already.
Super 6 is designed to enhance Scottish club rugby as a whole and as the custodians of a Super 6 Franchise we are determined to ensure that it is positive for all clubs within Scotland – not just the Super 6 clubs. We are open to discussion and would encourage you to contact us if you have any specific questions or concerns.