REPRESENTATIVE teams aligned to Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors will compete in the second year of the Celtic Challenge competition, which will also feature two teams each from Ireland (Wolfhounds and Clovers) and Wales (Brython Thunder and Gwalia Lightning).
The Scottish sides will wear the same colours as the established men’s professional teams and play out of Hive Stadium in Edinburgh and Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow. They will kick off their Celtic Challenge campaign by facing each other at Hive Stadium on Saturday 30th December with 12 noon kick-off, ahead of the men’s 1872 Cup clash on the nearby Murrayfield international pitch getting underway at 3pm.
This season’s Celtic Challenge will adopt a new format consisting of five rounds, before three doubleheader play-off rounds (each being hosted by a Home Union) determine the competition champions.
Tickets for Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors home games will be made available in due course, on sale via each respective club’s website, with an update on the coaching team and wider broadcast details to follow.
“The decision to align our Celtic Challenge teams to Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors presents a fantastic opportunity to provide our two teams with a strong individual identity and sense of belonging, whilst also tapping into each club’s current fan base,” said Gemma Fay, Scottish Rugby’s Head of Women’s & Girls’ Strategy.
“I know that Al Kellock (Glasgow’s managing director), Doug Struth (Edinburgh’s managing director) and their colleagues will do a great job in making our teams and their management feel part of their clubs.
“This branding alignment plays a fundamental part in progressing our Women’s and Girls’ Strategy, and as the Celtic Challenge Competition develops, we look forward to the prospect of that alignment being taken further as we continue to build towards semi-professional teams in the future.”
Struth said: “It’s fantastic to have a side representing the capital in the Celtic Challenge, and to see a women’s team competing under the Edinburgh Rugby banner for the first time.
“It’s a big development for the wider sport and women’s rugby in Scotland generally, and stepping stone towards semi-professional sides in the future, with the exciting prospect of our first match being part of an inter-city double header with Glasgow Warriors on the 30th of December.
“I’d encourage the Edinburgh faithful to get behind the team and support us in our first match against Glasgow.”
Kellock added: “We’re extremely excited to be able to expand our club with the launch of our first-ever women’s team; it’s an outstanding opportunity for us to help to further the development of the next generation of Scottish rugby talent, and showcase this club to a new audience.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has helped to make this team and this vision come to life, from the backroom team behind the scenes, to our network of sponsors and partners and those involved centrally at Scottish Rugby.
“We look forward to sharing more details about our team in the next few weeks, and we’re excited to introduce our newest Warriors to the Warrior Nation.”