SGM on league structure for next season will take place on 22nd March

SRU President Dee Bradbury and the SRU Council have proposed a five part motion based on recommendations of Gavin McColl QC's Standing Committee on Governance

Dee Bradbury
SRU President Dee Bradbury has proposed the single SGM motion on behalf of the SRU Council. Image: © Craig Watson -

THE Special General Meeting to decide where the ‘Club XVs’ of Super 6 licence-holders will play from next season onwards has been requisitioned to take place at 6pm on Friday 22nd March at Murrayfield Stadium.

A communication issued by Murrayfield earlier today outlined the single motion being proposed by SRU President Dee Bradbury on behalf of the SRU Council, based on the recommendations made by Gavin MacColl QC’s Standing Committee on Governance.

The motion is –

THAT pursuant to the Union’s Bye-Law 14.2.3 (and following the prior determination of the Council of the Scottish Rugby Union and prior consultation with the Clubs):

A – The “Club XVs” of those Scottish rugby clubs holding a Super 6 license will play in National 1 in the season in which the Super 6 competition commences (2019/20);

B – At the end of each season 2019/20 and 2020/21, once club will be relegated from the Premiership (or successor league) to National 1, and one club will be promoted from National 1 to the Premiership (or successor league);

C – National 1 clubs will be promoted into the Premiership (or successor league) in accordance with their league positions at the end of season 2018/19, so as to populate the 2019/20 Premiership (or successor league) with 10 teams. There will be no relegation from the Premiership (or successor league) at the end of season 2018/19;

D – Relegation will take place from National 1 in accordance with the presently operating competition rules;

E – Promotion and relegation will take place from National 2 and all lower leagues in accordance with the presently operating competition rules;

and that the Board of the Scottish Rugby Union be and is authorised to proceed to give effect to that determination through changes to the relevant National Competition Rules.

The quorum for this meeting will be one-third of the total members eligible to vote. Because the wording of Bye-Law 14.2.3 refers specifically to “clubs”, representatives of the Scottish Rugby Referees Association, the Schools Division and members of the SRU Council will not be entitled to vote on the motion, although – rather confusingly – they are entitled to attend and be counted towards the quorum.

A simple majority of the clubs present is required to pass the motion, as it does not fall into any categories where Bye-Law 21 requires that a two-thirds majority must be obtained (i.e. to reverse of a decision of either the SRU Council or SRU Board; to alter, rescind or add to the bye-Laws; or to give special direction regarding finance).

If the meeting failed to reach a quorum, or the motion is not passed, then a status quo will apply for next season, meaning that the Club XVs’ of Super 6 franchise holders will remain in the Premiership (or successor league), with relegation back on the table this season (straight down for the club which finishes bottom in the Premiership and a play-off for the second bottom team).

Any amendment to the motion must reach Graham Ireland, the SRU’s head of regulation, by no later than Friday 14thMarch, by either letter or email, signed by secretary of the full member club/associated body proposing and seconding, and be on the headed paper of the club/associated body concerned.

Hamish Watson and WP Nel start for Edinburgh in Treviso


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. Goodness, what anxiety and angst from some clubs about where the Super 6’s residual club XVs play!

    Two things stand out logically:

    1) They will not be ‘reserve’ teams, so McColl has rightly and logically ruled out their playing in the Reserve League. As they are not reserve teams, they would not be permitted to join the Reserve League anyway.

    2) If you nonetheless want to see them as reserve teams, well reserve teams generally fit in competitively two leagues below their 1st XV – see Caledonia leagues for practical examples. Two leagues below Super 6 is… National 1! So McColl’s proposal is basically right by any coach’s yardstick.

    I am not personally that smitten with the Super 6 concept, as I doubt it will close the conditioning and capability gap that much between Premier 1 and the Pro teams, anymore than the Welsh equivalent has done. (And the WRU is downsizing its Super 6 equivalent league and switching much of the money to Pro Academy teams instead). The CEO’s original idea of Pro U23 teams, comprising the younger Pro players, Academy boys and some club/Uni/7s standouts, seemed a better way of up-skilling the best potential players and thereby closing the performance gap between club and Pro teams.

    Whatever, the thing that disappoints most about all this kerfuffle is the very negative, curmudgeonly and self-interested stance of a small number of clubs, particularly from N1. An abiding memory from the 2010 AGM, which changed the league setup considerably and for the better, was the large group of older club reps sitting in the stalls who seemed very angry verging on apoplectic that their leagues – the equivalent of N1/N2 today – would undergo some changes to conform to the bigger plan.

    They did not win the support of the sensible majority of regional clubs and I hope the SGM goes the same way, with the majority eschewing the narrow interests of a small coterie of clubs interested solely in their league position and trying to avoid having to compete with the Super 6 legacy teams.

  2. When the super 6 go the teams left are their seconds and possibly going into the Premiership league, so it is now suggested relegation takes place from the premiership implying the super 6 seconds are better teams than the present premiership clubs as one of them will go to National league 1. Might be fairer if the bottom Super 6 seconds team playoff with the Premiership team due for the drop.
    Or have I misunderstood the options?

  3. It is astonishing that we can get to this stage without a proper ventilation of a statement of the benefits, costs and an assessment of impact on all the affected parties. This is routine practice in both business and the public sector. The SGM motion should be informed by such information (not just partial details on process). The future of our precious, fragile club rugby in Scotland deserves a more professional treatment of how it goes about this proposed change process.

  4. It’s astonishing these proposals can get to this stage without any proper assessment by the promoters of the full costs and benefits expected along with a description of the likely impacts (positive and negative) on all affected parties. Such an approach is fundamental to good practice and governance in both public and private sectors. It is incompetent to ask clubs to vote on incomplete information with the future of our precious game at stake.

  5. To me it’s shocking that the Super 6 is still going ahead next season. How much of a bonus are Dodson and his cronies getting for delivery of this half baked nonsense? It seems to me that’s the only reason for them to plough on paying scant regard to the pleas of clubs and without any clear idea or understanding how this will work or impact the club game.

    I’ve been a member of a “super 6” team for many many years and there was no members vote, little communication and downright hosility from the board to any suggestion that giving full control to Scottish Rugby Ltd was not sensible. I truly hope this does not end in the clusterbourach it looks to be heading towards.

    It sounds like Tails Dodson and cronies win, Heads Dodson and cronies win. Surely sense must prevail and the Super 6 is postponed/cancelled at the AGM, if not is there any point to the SRU council who now seem to represent the interests of Scottish Rugby Ltd and not that of the clubs they are supposed to represent.

  6. No Super6 reserve side should be allowed into the club set-up at any level. If this is allowed it will kill the club scene in Scotland which is already struggling. The Super 6 reserve sides should just play in a shadow league or against any reserve side that the Super 6 team is playing. I hope Scottish clubs all stand strong and fight for their survival

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