THE survey of clubs in National Leagues Two and Three gauging opinion on the prospect of a 12-month postponement to the introduction of Super 6, and on a bar on ‘Club XVs’ of Super 6 organisations being placed in the national leagues, has concluded – with a majority in favour of both propositions.
Each club in these two leagues was presented with two statements, which they were invited to agree or disagree with.
The first statement was –
That, until a full assessment and agreement is reached of both the outcomes of the recent club surveys and the forthcoming “MacColl Recommendations” by the National 2 & 3 Clubs Forum, we call upon our Forums’ Council representatives to petition the SRU Council forthwith to seek a delay to the proposed introduction of the “Super 6” concept.
Eight clubs in National League Two agreed with the statement, three disagreed and one made no decision; while six clubs in National League Three agreed, two disagreed and four did not provide a response.
The second statement was –
That, specifically, in the event that the “Super 6” concept is introduced (whenever), those club sides associated to or forming part of any “Super 6” franchise be not permitted to play in any national club league unless or until such is specifically agreed by the Clubs at AGM / SGM.
Once again, eight clubs in National League Two agreed with the statement, three disagreed and one made no decision; while all eight of the respondents in National League three agreed with statement.
Overall, that means: 14 of 24 clubs in these two leagues are for a postponement to Super 6, five believe it should go ahead as scheduled and five either did not respond or did not express an opinion; while 16 of 24 clubs oppose ‘Club XVs’ of Super 6 organisation playing in the national leagues, three would allow entry and five did not respond or did not express on opinion.
The results of this survey have been passed on to Graeme Scott of Whitecraigs and Andrew Little of Highland – the Council representatives of the joint National League Two and Three forum – to be fed into the ongoing review of league structure being carried out by the Scottish Rugby Standing Committee on Governance, under its independent chair Gavin McColl QC.
As far as the SRU and the Super 6 clubs are concerned, it is full steam ahead. The governing body confirmed earlier today that the license agreements for the new competition have now been signed, and at the the same time officially unveiled the identities of the full-time coaches who will be charged with driving the rugby element of this initiative forward.
National Two and Three clubs set to join National One in call for 12-month postponement of Super 6
There is one factor above all others that explains the Nationsl clubs’ supposed dislike of the Super 6 residual A teams – A for amateur – participating in the National leagues and that can only be described as self interest.
If these A teams play in N1 as proposed, 12 National teams will get a promotion and only 4 at most will get relegated.
If the A teams are not allowed in the Nationals, well 24 will get promoted – 8 from N1 to the Championship, 8 from N2 to N1, 8 from N3 to N2. So you have a shedload of mid- and lower-placed teams in each league getting a promotion they haven’t really earned on the field.
The interesting bit is: what happens to the bottom 4 in National 3? Three of them would normally be relegated and replaced by the three regional league winners – which adds up to a league of 4, including (currently) Orkney. No doubt the National clubs will, as always, seek to plunder the regional leagues to make up the numbers. That should be strongly resisted, as the regional leagues are already short of teams in some of the divisions and can’t addord to lose another 8.
The alternative which will no doubt surface sooner or later will be to put the Super 6 A teams in N3, thus creating a 10-team league – or 12, if they decide to move the goalposts and only relegate one team from N3.
I would go the other way and scrap N3, there will already be 42 teams playing nationally, which is far too many really, given that national travel to far-away locations costs clubs a mint, loses players to the game and leads to travelling clubs putting out weak scratch teams for distant locations.
Practically, that would mean that the bottom 4 in N3 get relegated and there is either (a) no promotion from the regionals this term or (b) the 3 regional winners play off against the clubs finishing 6, 7 and 8 in N3.
Far better to put the S6 A teams in N1 as proposed, they are not ‘reserve teams’, they are 1st XVs, and are thus not entitled to play in the Reserve Leagues as some of these National clubs are wrongly pproposing.
It is interesting that only 56% of the N2 and N3 clubs have supported their own motion to delay Super 6 for a season. Hardly a ringing endorsement of the delay proposal?
Great conspiracy theory R Cumming.
However I can assure you that the composition of the leagues and any potential advantage to existing clubs if S6 are excluded was at no time discussed in the forum meetings which led to this. Nor has any club mentioned this in the many discussions I have with them over the matter.
The big issue is the “Superhoover effect” of S6 having their cake and eating it with two teams they will need to recruit hard for, at a time when Clubs are struggling with playing numbers.
An issue which will effect all clubs.
Their position in the league tables is the No 1 issue for the the National clubs, as we have seen so many times in the past regarding league structures/restructuring. They don’t meed to discuss it, as it is item Mo 1 on everyone’s agenda, viz: what’s in it for me?
I fully appreciate that safeguarding and improving a club’s position by whatever means is a win-win for club coaches, players, recruitment and sponsorship, while the Committee can bask in the rewards for their hard voluntary work. But all that alas has to be secondary to getting a sensible league structure that works for all, including in this case the Committees, coaches and players from the 6 Super 6 A teams and the regional clubs that will be affected.
As said previously, I suspect that the ‘hoovering’ concern is perhaps overstated. Many of the 200 additional players needed will step up from the Super 6’s 2nd XVs or come North to try their luck – as the clubs will henceforth all be amateur, there will be no money floating around to pay players boot money to switch allegiances. I could be wrong, so why don’t the opponents of Super 6 ask the Super 6 how many players they currently envisage coming from (a) their 1sts, (b) their 2nds, (c) the Stage 3 Academies, (d) outside Scotland and, critically for S6 opponents, (e) other Premier, National and Regional clubs?
They only need 35 per S6 team and that is I gather maybe being watered-down to include Pro player release, they already have 20+ on the 1st XV books and the 2nds to call on, so the affect on the remaining 150 playing clubs may not be too severe. The clubs most likely to suffer some losses are the 4 Premier teams which didn’t make the cut and no doubt the N1 clubs will lose some ambitious players, but it was ever thus.
But if the goal is, as it is, to narrow the gap between Premier and Pro, then there is going to be some migration of the better players to S6, that is the aim. I just don’t think exaggerating the likely numbers helps the game move forward.