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on the prospect of running such a competition below Super6 level, but not as a direct replacement for that tournament, superseded this (with 72 clubs voting in favour of the amendment and 46 against).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.
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.