FOSROC Super Series: Glasgow, Edinburgh and development team to join revamped tournament

Watsonians beat Ayrshire Bulls in extra time to claim the 2022 Super6 Championship. Image: Graham Gaw
Watsonians are current Super6 champions after beating the Ayrshire Bulls in the final last October. Image: Graham Gaw

THE FOSROC Super6 will have a new format, new teams and a new name this season, with Edinburgh, Glasgow Warriors and a development side based on Scotland Under-20s all taking part.

The new tournament, to be known as the FOSROC Super Series, will be divided into a Sprint Series and a Championship, as was the case last year. This time, however, the Super Series Sprint will include ‘A’ teams from the Warriors and Edinburgh in addition to the six current members of the competition: Ayrshire Bulls, Boroughmuir Bears, Heriot’s, Southern Knights, Stirling Wolves and Watsonians.

Those six teams will play each other once each – either home or away – as well as either Glasgow A or Edinburgh A.  The two pro-team selects will each play three games in the first half of the tournament, with Edinburgh meeting Heriot’s, the Knights and Watsonians, and the Warriors playing the Bulls, the Bears and the Wolves. The Sprint will begin on Friday 7 April: fixtures are expected to be announced soon.


Grant Gilchrist suspended for rest of Six Nations

Glasgow sign Facundo Cordero as Josh McKay is ruled out for rest of season

Edinburgh v Leinster: defeat does more damage to home team’s play-off hopes


The FOSROC Super Series Championship will start at the end of July and will include seven teams: the half-dozen who have been in Super6 since it began, and the development side which, according to an SRU press release, “will be built upon the current and future Scotland U20 side”. Teams will play each other home and away in the main phase of the Championship, with the top four proceeding to semi-finals.

Since before Super6 began in 2019, the SRU has been eager to include cross-border fixtures, with matches against Welsh clubs at one point looking the likeliest away of fulfilling this ambition. This year as in previous years, however, those fixtures have yet to materialise.

“Whilst there is not an opportunity to progress with a cross-border competition in this calendar year, Scottish Rugby remain in positive discussions with other Unions and have ambitions to add this element into future seasonal structures of the FOSROC Super Series,” the press release added.

The inclusion of the three new teams in the series has several related aims: to ensure more competitive matches for fringe members of the Edinburgh and Glasgow squads; to give Scotland Under-20 squad members or hopefuls more experience of competitive rugby; and, for those players in the six semi-pro sides, to provide a way of measuring themselves against fully professional opposition in the shape of the two ‘A’ teams.

SRU Performance Director Jim Mallinder said: “It’s a hugely exciting time for those involved in FOSROC Super Series rugby. With its expansion to include more teams and a different structure comes a time to reflect on how that gap between amateur and professional has been bridged in the last four years.

“Since 2019, 34 players who were registered with FOSROC Super6 teams have gone on to play professionally with either Glasgow Warriors or Edinburgh Rugby. In addition, 21 of those players have signed contracts with one of the two sides, with six earning full international caps for Scotland.

“Six former FOSROC Super6 head coaches – Pete Murchie, Pete Horne, Stevie Lawrie, Ciaran Beattie, Rob Chrystie and Fergus Pringle – and two assistant coaches – Scott Lawson and Chris Laidlaw – have moved into full-time professional performance coaching environments.

“We’re committed to providing more high-performance opportunities for those players striving to become regulars in Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors match-day squads. Another commitment we’re making is to provide a higher-level competition and increased time in high-performance environments for our U20 players to ensure that we are best preparing them for the ever-increasing demands of international rugby.”


Grant Gilchrist suspended for rest of Six Nations

About Stuart Bathgate 1415 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.

30 Comments

  1. Some Super 6 clubs are restive – and no wonder. Having been bullied into initial compliance, and accepting Mr Dodson’s SRU cuckoos into their six traditional nests, they’re now realising that they are merely SRU playthings with no genuine influence on anything. For despite cosmetic pretence otherwise, it is SRU management (not club management) who really decide which Super 6 club gets which SRU-trainee coach, and which players will be allowed to play where – and when.

    And that ‘when’ is just a frustratingly brief period – with countless talented young men forced to sit on the bench week after week, watching others play. What a divisive waste. It’s all like a vast, endless series of SRU practice matches (particularly for SRU coaches), with coaches and players being swapped at will – whilst the SRU takes massive advantage of each club’s hard-pressed facilities and pitches, and administrative, marketing and financial efforts.

    The SRU boasts that 21 Super 6 players have signed contracts (no mention of how long these lasted) with Edinburgh or Glasgow. But this was out of 210-plus players over a 3-4 years period, and who is to say these good players would not have made it anyway?

    The six SRU Select XVs are not attracting, and are unlikely ever to attract, the big crowds promised by Mr Dodson, because these groups will never be seen or accepted by club supporters as their own traditional teams. There are innumerable rugby people who will never watch SRU Select XV No. 1, or 2, or 3, or 4, or 5, or 6 – but who will, increasingly, watch their own top club ‘amateur’ XVs. (Mr Dodson had promised that no clubs below Super 6 level would be allowed to pay players – the contractual basis upon which Super 6 clubs then applied for their franchises – but that SRU promise appears to have been broken almost immediately.)

    It’s now sad to see and hear some TV match commentators and pundits (who’ve clearly taken the SRU shilling) waxing lyrical about the ‘superb standard’ of what are manifestly mediocre performance levels in boring Super 6 matches – unbelievably described as ‘amazing’ and ‘fantastic’. And all of this, pathetically, is in front of about two men and a dog, deafened by hysterical PA announcers and booming music, and underwhelmed by the whole desperate commercial sham that ‘Super 6 is Successful!!!’ – complete with staged cheerleaders, burger stalls, face-painting and all.

    When, oh, when, will someone dare to whisper that the Emperor has no clothes?

    Surely Mr Dodson’s bosses – the leaders of our own Scottish rugby clubs – should already have utilised new SRU Governance, and held healthy, informed debate about better options. One of these alternatives might well have been simple restoration of a full-strength Premiership, plus a revitalised Inter-District Championship. But that’s too late now – at least for this season. Because Mr Dodson has again made a pre-emptive strike, with the clumsy drafting in of Edinburgh and Glasgow A teams, plus an Under-20 Scotland side – all in the continued absence of much heralded cross-border opposition. (The serious shortcomings of this cobbled-together move are well dealt with elsewhere in this chain of posts.)

    Surely an urgent priority now, this season, is for all Scottish rugby clubs to call out Super 6 (or whatever Mr Dodson now chooses to call it) for what it clearly is – a totally-failed, personal vanity project, which is fatally damaging Scottish club rugby. Once that’s achieved, the unpaid landlords of Bridgehaugh, Goldenacre, Greenyards, Meggetland, Millbrae, and Myreside can each, at last, eject their respective SRU squatters, reclaim their best club players, and resume with honest endeavour their historic club rivalries with all their traditional rugby friends.

    8
    3
    • In the old days it was blues v whites in front of a crowd of committee men at Murrayfield with the result not that important. What mattered was personal performance and could he step up to the national XV. Not much difference but the U20s results are sobering. Would be interesting to compare crowds with a Premiership one.

      On the other hand give me the game at Hawick any day, local lads and a big crowd. On such a day who would dare go there and say how Shambolic 6 is good? All the guys that played will be back next season whereas S6 players seem to rotate and eventually be dropped for good when they don’t get a cap. Anyone with talent that doesn’t want to move too far would be better off getting a trial with Sale or Newcastle.

  2. No thanks all roads lead to district rugby, as it should of been in the first place. Shock there doing all in their power to derail the district rugby and make the super 6 look fantastic. Merely a plaster over a gaping wound.

    14
  3. Is it correct that a Scottish professional women’s team is to be included in this competition next year?

    6
    4
  4. Looks like another well thought out plan from the geniuses at Murrayfield. Simple and easy to follow format with complete competitive integrity built in.

    Just a few questions though….

    Full time pros playing against part time players. No problem there what do ever.

    I do hope some scenario planning has been done on how all these pros and U20 players that now don’t be available for the S6 sides will be replaced. Must be a ready pool of aspiring pros outwith that group just kicking about Scotland.

    And to extend the scenario planning element – what will the impact be on club rugby as S6 come looking for players?

    Is this part of the Winning or Wellbeing strand of the strategy? Obviously not Women. Or are they back to just making it up as they go along?

    12
    4
  5. My concern with this is where are the players going to come from? Presumably the Academy guys are pulled out of the Sprint to play for the two ‘A’ teams, so immediately team is 5 players down. Are the Academy players re-allocated to franchise teams after the first 3 games (when the A teams withdraw) and if so, how does that impact competition integrity? (Not that that is a big issue in essentially an SRU friendly competition). Come the championship season, again with an under 20 squad, each team will be 5-7 players down from this season, so they will need replaced.
    I doubt there are enough players of sufficient quality in Scotland who want to play in the super series to staff these teams.

    Could the same exposure to high level competition have been achieved for Under 20 players by insisting every team had 3 under 20 players in each starting XV and 5 in each match day squad?

    19
    • 100% agree , the Super 6 sprint with additional U20 involvement in some form , sevens programme and revamped Interdistrict championship all at the same time , absolute folly and nowhere near the number of players required particularly in the Borders….
      To me it just looks nonsense and that again Scottish rugby succeeds in getting everyone working against each other. They will all be competing for the same players albeit the South will undoubtedly manage to coax some of the ageing club players who didn’t want to play for the Knights into their squad.
      Just looks a mess and confirms to me that rather than working together these initiatives actually succeed in working against each other …..

      5
      1
  6. The Super Series is a roaring success from Mark Dodson.

    Why am i not surprised to see the out of touch wannabes on this site complaining once again.

    Fantastic news regarding the U20’s, the current crop will mostly be around another year so this is exactly what they need to take the next step. Very promising group.

    I suggest this to Walter, Stewart and Colin and Ron. Stay in your lane, and let the pros do their jobs.

    11
    28
    • This sounds like the desperate trolling that would come from SRU marketing team when confronted by reality. Certainly fits in with the views of the judge after the Russell tribunal. Perhaps our troll could explain where one win for u20s since start of S6 sits within the pros doing their jobs??

      10
      4
  7. If Super 6 or Stupid 6 as it’s normally referred to had been an animal it would have been put down a while ago.

    21
    24
  8. This has the reek of made up on the back of a fag packet nonsense. If the U20 players are all in one squad…what is the make up of the other teams? 30 + yr old journey men from anywhere but Scotland who will never be good enough for progress? Hardly a format which will get the average rugby fan to get engaged either. The reality is now totally unrecognisable from the original concept. The SRU is tying itself in knots to justify a competition noone cares about when simply directing the the funding to the top two tiers of club rugby would ensure players young and old would get better prep, S&C, game time and encounter a properly competitive tournament with the jeopardy or promotion and relegation. Some clubs even have coaches too so that pathway would be available too.

    9
    3
  9. Completely agree with Edinburgh A and Glasgow A playing as teams in their own right which would allow full pros returning from injury, fringe players and the Academy lads game time and seems sensible to stop this after week 3 of the Sprint which allows a proper off season for the pro players, summer tours aside. Unfortunately this should have been the plan right from the start of Super 6/8.
    However, with u20s heading to an all important World Trophy in Kenya would it not have made sense to have the u20s join in the Sprint Series from week 3-6 replacing the A teams to have 3 games to ready them for Kenya. As it stands u20 will rest after 6N then what’s the plan for their build up.
    Conversely, 4 games in just over 2 weeks at the World Trophy, which will be touted as a must win tournament by the Scottish rugby media and then be expected to jump straight back into the Super Series Championship until November. Best employ plenty of physios as by Christmas the u20 will be crocked. For example, not wishing ill on anyone but 18/19 yro v gnarly 30 yro – do we have strength in depth to do this whilst maintaining morale with the young uns through the attrition of the Super Series Champ. Also how will u20 Exiles be expected to do the Super Series if they have Uni or work down south. Will they just displace home based players come Jan 2024 in the 6N squad?
    Whilst better I still think the calendar year is out of line and doesn’t help young players prepare for 6N or a World Trophy/Cup.
    Overall, for me Warren Gatland’s recent interview about Joe Hawkins was spot on. Young players will make mistakes, let them play to allow them to put those mistakes right. What’s the message to that young player if they are benched / dropped cause a one handed off load goes astray. Currently, it tells you not to try that again. Super 6 coaches in the past, Pringle included who ironically is now with u20s, were guilty of benching young players or not playing them at all. For me Super 6 should have guaranteed u20/Academy players were first names on each weeks team sheets with a scaffold of older players around them. Older players helping younger players develop with games timed to maximise preparation prior to tournaments.

    17
    • Dodson has to come out of his lair and explain what the hells going on ?
      How much money it is costing .
      And what happens when some of his franchises go belly up this year.
      As I’ve said many times this will be remembered as Dodson’s ‘Folly ‘ costing Scottish rugby dear

      14
      11
      • I might have a word with him about all this down at Mansfield this Saturday at play offs .
        He’ll be down to present trophy to winners wont he .

        Laughable .
        He’ll probably not even know it’s on.
        He’ll be busy filling up his hospitality box at Murrayfield with freebies for Sunday

        11
        6
  10. Confused! What about the Under-20 boys already affiliated (playing/training) with a Super 6 side? Are original Super sides to be weakened to bolster the ‘national’ boys? And the boys with interests in Glasgow/Edinburgh and Super 6 sides? Simple set-up, yes?

  11. Confused! What about the Under-20 boys already affiliated (playing/training) with a Super 6 side? Are original Super sides to be weakened to bolster the ‘national’ boys? And the boys with interests in Glasgow/Edinburgh and Super 6 sides? Simple set-up, yes?

  12. So we have a competition consisting of franchises which have no history no tradition and very little support which changes each year with those “organising” it appearing to make it up as they go along.

    Don’t those responsible for rugby in Scotland realise they have an obligation to develop the game in the country and to build a meaningful sporting competition for the clubs?

    Or do they see their role simply being to throw together some matches to prepare players for international rugby and sod the clubs and the wider game?

    34
    4
    • Agree with your thoughts, the S6 always seemed to me to be something ‘cobbled’ together on the ‘We’ve got to be seen to be doing something’ basis and this has a similar tinge to it.
      Glasgow and Edinburgh 2nd’s I think they would need tougher opposition than S6 having watched some of the S6 fixtures I thought the standard overall was somewhat lacking across the Teams, I even suggested one of the Props looked the epitome of a Junior Club ExB player plenty of bulk but little athleticism suggested by it, if you get my drift, perhaps the adverts are a precursor of another couple of teams for Fosroc a sort of Glasgow All Blacks and Edinburgh Springboks: or perhaps I shouldn’t give Roseburn St. ideas.

      11
      2
    • Think of all the money that’s been wasted on this man’s vanity project already
      When this latest make it up you go along thing doesn’t work what will Dodson do next?.
      Resign I hope .
      What an ar-se he’s made of Scottish rugby .

      21
      8
  13. Looking like the Glasgow or Edinburgh non-franchise teams won’t be capable of winning the sprint series, I wonder if there is a similar agreement with the franchise teams about the Development team being allowed to win the Championship?

    3
    1
  14. What the F-ck
    What a farce Dodson is making of Scottish rugby .
    It’s clear to see the not so super 6 is not working and this is just another ploy to try and save Dodson’s folly

    32
    14
  15. What are we to make of this?

    Maybe nothing particularly new or innovative here, that could not be achieved via appropriate development of the previously well-liked historically effective traditional District system in a semi-professional / professional context.

    Interesting to note FOSROC’s continuing loyalty to keeping the S6 concept afloat… the PR-pumped illusion of success for Dodson’s crazed brain-child, designed to reduce domestic club rugby to ashes.

    FOSROC market a range of construction industry products, and are part of the Dubai-based JMH Group, owned by entrepreneurial Scottish expat James “Jim” Hay, estimated to be worth some £325 million 4 years ago.

    18
    6
  16. What are we to make of this?

    Maybe nothing particularly new or innovative here, that could not be achieved via appropriate development of the previously well-liked historically effective traditional District system in a semi-professional / professional context.

    Interesting to note FOSROC’s continuing loyalty to keeping the S6 concept afloat… the PR-pumped illusion of success for Dodson’s bastard brain-child, designed to reduce domestic club rugby to ashes.

    FOSROC market a range of construction industry products, and are part of the Dubai-based JMH Group, owned by entrepreneurial Scottish expat James “Jim” Hay, estimated to be worth some £325 million 4 years ago.

    2
    3
  17. Whilst I don’t claim to be intimately familiar with the S6 set up I have read many of the concerns on this site regards the U20’s getting decent game time. So based on this it looks like the U20/Development team will be getting 12 games together against decent opposition which must be good for their development and a big improvement on the current set up. I’m sure there will de details still to be worked but sounds like a positive step.

    22
    11

Comments are closed.