Inter-District Championship for club players to return this spring

Caledonia, Edinburgh, Glasgow and West & the South will play two matches each

Action from the South versus Caledonia match played in front of a big crowd at Riverside Park in 2016. Image: Steven Rennie
Action from the South versus Caledonia match played in front of a big crowd at Riverside Park in 2016. Image: Steven Rennie

THE SCOTTISH INTER-DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIP is to finally be reprised (although in an abbreviated format to its original five-team round-robin model), as requested by member clubs at the Scottish Rugby AGM in July 2021.

The original motion for this move, which was proposed by GHA, called for Super6 to be scrapped with the money saved to be re-directed towards a representative regional competition as a stepping stone for top club players. However, an amendment from the SRU Board and Council which proposed a consultation with clubs on the prospect of running such a competition below Super6 level, but not as a direct replacement for that tournament, superseded this (with 72 clubs voting in favour of the amendment and 46 against).

The Inter-District Championship, which was first established in 1953, used to be competed for annually in the amateur era by Edinburgh, Glasgow, the South, the North and Midlands and, laterally, the Scottish Exiles. It continued to be played at the amateur level until 2002 with North and Midland being rebranded as Caledonia. In more recent years, the South have played Caledonia in one-off matches.


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In the revived format, four men’s teams from across the country – Caledonia, Edinburgh, Glasgow and West & the South – will compete in two fixtures later this year. Subject to eligibility criteria, players will be selected from across the Premiership and National Leagues.

Each team – which will be referred to as a District – has established a working committee to oversee the appointment of coaching and management personnel.

The tournament, which is overseen by Scottish Rugby and delivered by the four committees aims to:

  • recognise players who have consistently performed with distinction for their club and provide them with an opportunity to represent their district
  • provide an avenue for clubs to work in collaboration, strengthen relationships, and celebrate rugby in the region
  • offer selected players and coaches a development opportunity through a higher standard of competition and;
  • provide a future selection vehicle for the Scotland Club XV International representative.

In the first round of competition, Caledonia will host Glasgow & West and The South will host Edinburgh. The winners of each fixture will play the following week in an Inter-district Final and the remaining two teams play in a third/fourth place play-off. Dates and venues will be confirmed at a later date this Spring.

“I am delighted to announce this new tournament which drew strong support from clubs at a previous AGM, together with a lot of enthusiasm from players,” said Keith Wallace, Scottish Rugby Vice President.

Further details regarding the Scottish Inter-district Championship will be shared with clubs in due course by each District Committee.


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About David Barnes 3180 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

24 Comments

  1. Brilliant – but why half a job? 4 Districts, 3 games each obviously, fixture reversed the following season. Is that to simple?

  2. Lots of plus points firstly this give players a stepping stone onto the ladder there is plenty of time to play these games and have super6 teams playing as well it takes cooperation from clubs and districts and super 6 the game is for playing and it is for players who are only looking for a chance these extra games would give a problem with referees and officials deals would have to be made to solve these issues just put the game first all these games gives the public an new choice of where to watch the best they want.FOOD got thought one question who is in charge

  3. Well done to SRU and the CEO (guessing his name is not allowed in the comments from when i have tried posting in the recent past) as well as the clubs for pushing hard on this. Look forward to seeing the games.

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      • Super 6 will be remembered as ‘ Dodson ‘s ‘Folly ‘
        Think of the money going down the drain keeping it afloat .

        They’re all feart to criticize him at SRU about its viability in case they lose their jobs

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      • Totally agree Walter but to say his name isn’t allowed here is plainly ridiculous and of course leads one to doubt anything else posted from this particular source.

  4. You mean at the end of the season when the Super 6 sprint is on, Iain? I doubt the S6 clubs or Scottish rugby would be happy for the inter district championship to be played in direct competition with S6, maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps that’s what you’re actually worried about though. December was last month and pitches were frozen solid for weeks so I think it’s a safe bet the games won’t be played then. Personally I applaud this valuable reintroduction to our club game, whenever it gets played and look forward to watching The South once again take to the field.

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  5. Great for the club players to have something to go for other than club rugby. Hope it’s in December, maybe acting as a trial for a club international xv fixture against Ireland. Hope it’s not at the end of the season as the season is long enough as it is and could clash with the 7’s.

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    • You mean at the end of the season when the Super 6 sprint is on, Iain? I doubt the S6 clubs or Scottish rugby would be happy for the inter district championship to be played in direct competition with S6, maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps that’s what you’re actually worried about though. December was last month and pitches were frozen solid for weeks so I think it’s a safe bet the games won’t be played then. Personally I applaud this valuable reintroduction to our club game, whenever it gets played and look forward to watching The South once again take to the field.

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      • Please, I’m not that small minded. I don’t worry about Super 6 it is what it is. The district championship was always held in December and I don’t see why it couldn’t be again. What I’d like is for it to lead further, as I said the reintroduction of the club internationals, what a goal for players that would be. I’m also serious about the Border 7’s, I’m a traditionalist. I may not be everyone’s cup of tea with my views but self interest is not on my agenda whether it is Super 6 or my own club. I value the game that gave me so much and I want players to get the enjoyment out of it that I did.

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  6. A genuine positivity to this development. Tradition is important to rugby and this is an excellent opportunity to showcase the quality within the club game. I just hope that the games take place at proper club rugby grounds, at times when grass roots supporters can come along, and not Scotstoun or the Dam Stadium.

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  7. Great news! Something for Aberdeenshire and the Highlands to have an involvement. Areas that been ignored by S6 and treated as a backwater by SRU

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  8. A wee bit off the wall, but could this result in 2 or more additions to the S6 setup, thus negating the Edinburgh bias?

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  9. Agreed a very welcome re-introduction, (as would be the Club XV), though, for now, Super 6 structure is safe as we are only talking about a few games. However, I reckon Southern Knights will be quaking in their boots as currently a South, so called amateur, team would cuff them, given many of their key players have re-joined their original clubs. If like the old tourny they take the games around the border towns, rather than 1 venue, then this should also re-spark border interest – another body blow to the SK’s. Time will tell….+ Edin with 3 S6 teams…well that’s another debate…..

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  10. Would prefer a full round robin format but it’s certainly a positive step forward. Let’s ensure that there are fair and real pathways for the top performers to advance to pro clubs. Watch a couple if Caley Midlands u20 games at start of season with young lads all from lower leagues and there was real talent on show despite the lack of prep time. I won’t embarrass the fella by naming him but Midlands do have someone doing some great work to develop grass roots rugby and he was a big part of those games and some schools cups. Small steps but very much in the right direction!!

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  11. SRU have put their Super 6 under pressure now .
    This is a good thing for club rugby supporters .
    Nobody interested in Dodson’s ‘Folly’
    Plenty will be interested in the Districts .

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  12. Excellent news- the most positive step to come from the SRU in decades, at last showing an interest in club rugby players.

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