Second survey on domestic league structure issued

Gavin MacColl, QC, seeks more feedback in league sizes and the demand for regionalisation

Hawick Harlequins v Carrick
Carrick and Hawick Harlequins in action In the Shield Final at Murrayfield last April. Carrick were promoted from West Regional Leagues into the National Leagues this season, while Hawick Harlequins opted to take that option after winning East Regional League One. Image: Craig Watson /

A SECOND survey canvassing opinions on potential changes to the country’s domestic league structures has been issued to all full-member and associate clubs of the SRU on behalf of Gavin MacColl, QC, the Independent Chair of the Scottish Rugby Council Standing Committee on Governance.

The initial survey was sent to clubs on 28th September, asking a range of questions relating to issues such as whether the current league structure should remain in place for the 2018-19 season, where the ‘club XVs’ of Super 6 teams should be placed in the league structure and at what level should leagues be regionalised. Clubs were required to respond to that survey by 31st October.

“Following its initial analysis of the Domestic League Structure Survey responses (and particularly the general comments received from clubs), it has become clear that it would assist the Scottish Rugby Council Standing Committee on Governance to discharge the task given to it by the AGM if the following additional questions could be answered in relation to national/regional rugby and the number of teams competing in the National Leagues,” explained MacColl in a cover letter attached to the survey.

A game too far… even for Orkney: SRU Championship Committee criticised

Scottish Cup preview: Dundee drop out before firing a shot in anger

Scotland v Canada: Jade Konkel returns, Rachel McLachlan gets first start

“Please note that these are specific additional questions related to national/regional rugby and league size. The Scottish Rugby Council Standing Committee on Governance has made no assumptions on the placement of the Super 6 Club XVs in this context,” he added.

This second survey, which was issued yesterday [Monday] afternoon, asks three supplementary questions –


  • “Does your club wish to play national or regional league rugby?


  • “How many teams does your club consider should compete in each National League?”


  • “How many National Leagues (including a Premiership or Championship) does your club consider that there should there be? (Note this does not include the separate Super 6 competition).”


The survey does not make clear whether clubs are being asked in the first question if they want to play regional or national league rugby in the short term [i.e. next season] or in the longer term [i.e. as part of a development plan]?

The third question is also curious because something very similar, but phrased differently, was asked in the original survey [see below].

Clubs have been asked to submit their responses to Graham Ireland, the SRU’s Head of Regulation, by 7th November.

MacColl was announced as Chair of the Governance Standing Committee at August’s AGM, with the job of finding a new domestic league structure being added to his remit after a motion proposed by Aberdeen Grammar calling for greater debate and consultation on the impact of certain aspects of the SRU’s controversial Agenda 3 programme was passed with an overwhelming majority.

According to a joint statement issued by the Scottish Rugby Board and Councils on 21st September, the Governance Committee’s recommendations on league structure will be considered by the SRU Board at their meeting on 6th December and by the Council seven days later. There will then be a final consultation period with clubs on any recommended options/proposals (if required); before a decision is made on any final proposal to put to the clubs at the Council and Board meetings on 17th and 24th January 2019, respectively.

Survey on domestic league structure for next season issued



About David Barnes 4026 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The 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.

1 Comment

  1. I admit to being a cynic & also not a fan of some strange collective decision-making making via survey.

    Surveys only get answers to the questions asked.

    However, more to the point “why now?”

    We are now on the downslope of the club season & the vast majority of clubs don’t know which division their “club” sides are striving to be in next season.

    That’s shocking!

    As a result, we will get something rushed through at the last minute, possibly even as late as the agm.

    Professional sport? Run by professionals??

    I think we need to take a good look at our governance as this model is creaking & potentially no longer fit for purpose.

Comments are closed.