Scottish Rugby confirm regionalised league structure for 2020-21

Details of league formats and fixture schedules to be issued no later that 16th September

GHA and Currie Chieftains in Premiership action last season. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
GHA and Currie Chieftains in Premiership action last season. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

THERE will be no national league competitions in Scottish club rugby during the 2020-21 season due to the uncertainties caused by the Covid pandemic, with the four nation-wide men’s competitions being adapted into regional formats, and the specifics of how it will work to be announced after the next government update on 10th September (no later that 16th September).

The target is still a 31st October return date for club rugby, depending on the continued easing of lockdown restrictions. The format of the leagues is likely to be along similar lines to the recommendations for regionalised competitions which was put forward by Scottish Rugby at the start of July.

“The competitions vary slightly from one another and take account of the feedback received from the clubs, teams and players involved, as well as the Scottish Rugby Council’s recommendations,” said a correspondence issued by Murrayfield this afternoon.


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“The Tennent’s Premiership with National League Division 1, and National League Division 2 with National League Division 3 teams, will be split across two competitions culminating in three finals at BT Murrayfield. 

“The Women’s Tennent’s Premiership and Women’s National League Division 1 teams will participate in a single competition, which will also culminate in two finals at BT Murrayfield.

“Men’s and Women’s Regional Division teams will participate in a series of regional or local competitions.”

“Boys’ and girls’ schools and youth rugby will also be different as we support young players’ return to the game.

SRU President Ian Barr said that the plan put forward by the Council represents the best chance to kick-start Scottish club rugby this season.

“On behalf of the Council I’d like to thank everyone from across the game who shared their views and insight to enable us to have a clear competition structure at every level, reaching the whole country, for rugby to resume when safe to do so,” he said.

“I know there has been a lot of hard work undertaken to reach this positive outcome against the backdrop of Covid-19 and while we can’t please everybody, as a Council we have listened and applied the principles of fairness and consistency throughout to develop a blended model of competition which we believe provides the right solution to the challenges we face.

“It is our best chance to kick-start Scottish rugby clubs back into action this season and I wish everyone well in the months ahead as we look forward to rugby being played again.”

Scottish Rugby’s Director of Rugby Development, Sheila Begbie, said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone that has participated in this process as it has been fundamental in shaping the competitions for both the men’s and women’s game as well as the boys’ and girls’ schools and youth game.

“Through this unprecedented period of uncertainty we have had excellent support and collaboration across the game in Scotland and can now share with all clubs how we can return to competitive rugby, in a sensible, safe and appropriate way in the months ahead.”


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About David Barnes 3114 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.

5 Comments

  1. Whilst undoubtedly a sensible thing to do, limiting folk travelling across the country to participate in sport, it perhaps also sets the precedent for those spectating sports.

    Will we see restrictions on who can travel to Murrayfield to watch the Autumn Test tournie?

    • certainly applied for the 700 allowed to watch Edinburgh v Glasgow last week – those who coukd walk to the ground got preference.

      We live in strange times. Much will depend on how things are in Oct/Nov. How many would want to travel from afar? How many tickets will be allowed? How many can they sell?

  2. While it is good to see the Club game finally restarting, I hope the laws of probability are not suspended when the draw comes to be made.

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  3. Great to see Rugby back and nit before time. Should be some friendlies too in September. The move from all European governments is to pivot to protect the most at risk and rely on the vastly improved understanding of the illness to reduce ICU admissions and deaths. France are now 8,000 cases a day of C-19 and of the normal seasonal daily all causes deaths 1600 deaths – just 20 are Covid. It’s not rash or insensitive to push for normality for the 99% it’s necessary for a healthy society and progressive future. Well done SRU

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  4. Sensible decision and it’s what the clubs asked for.

    The restrictions in Glasgow show that we are likely to see further disruption to sport. Still struggle to see how rugby is played in a socially distant world.

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