Super 6 clubs break silence to issue a joint statement

Placing of 'club XVs' in National One remains key bone of contention

Ayr v Melrose
07/04/18 - The Greenyards - Melrose BT Premiership Final Melrose v Ayr Image © Craig Watson

THE Super 6 clubs have issued a joint statement, in which they stress that they want to work positively with all the clubs not involved in this elite league, which is to be created above the domestic game for the 2019-20 season. It states that “there is a collective will from the six clubs to work with all clubs in Scotland to ensure that the Super 6 competition provides a pathway to enhance the whole of Scottish club rugby, not just the six participating clubs.”

However, the thorny issue of which league the ‘club XV’s’ of Super 6 franchises should be placed looks set to run-and-run, with the statement reiterating the Super 6 clubs’ strongly held belief that they should be placed in National One, the second tier of the domestic leagues, when the new competition kicks-off in just over 12 months’ time. The fear amongst the clubs not in Super 6 is that these back-up teams will quickly be promoted to the top tier Championship and act as ‘super-hoovers’ for ambitious players who will view these ‘club XVs’  as the direct line into the semi-pro [part-time] game, leaving the rest of the clubs fighting it out for scraps.

Ayr, Boroughmuir, Heriot’s, Melrose, Stirling County and Watsonians were the successful Super 6 applicants, with Currie Chieftains, Dundee, Edinburgh Academicals, Gala, Glasgow Hawks, and Hawick missing out.  The statement comes ahead of what promises to be a stormy SRU AGM on Saturday, when the impact of Super 6 is set to be a key issue.

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The full statement is below –

The Super 6 clubs have now had a number of very positive meetings and there is good progress being made in a number of areas. It is important to highlight that there is a collective will from the six clubs to work with all clubs in Scotland to ensure that the Super 6 competition provides a pathway to enhance the whole of Scottish club rugby, not just the six participating clubs.

We would like to provide clarification on the following points:

Super 6 Club XV League Standing

All Scottish clubs were given the opportunity to bid to host a Franchise, competing in a new part-time professional competition alongside their existing rugby club, and it was made clear from the outset that the successful Franchise Club XV would play in the new National 1 based upon:

  • National 1 being the right level based on player welfare and competitiveness of teams. The recent changes to the BT cup structure, where the number of competing teams was reduced to 16 due to safety concerns, being the precedent for this decision.
  • Agreement that Club XV’s of all clubs should be allowed to find their own natural level within the pyramid structure of Scottish club rugby and therefore being promoted or relegated based on the rules of the competition from a league position determined by the level of performance at which they are able to operate. The primary principle behind this being the preservation of the integrity of the league structure for all clubs.

All Super 6 clubs applied on this basis and have therefore accepted their Club XV being placed in National 1.

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Super 6 Squad Sizes

We are having ongoing discussions about the make-up of the 35 man Super 6 playing squad and how we can work with Scottish Rugby and other clubs to ensure that those players not playing Super 6 are able to play regular rugby. This could potentially involve dual registration of players with Championship Clubs, depending on the outcome of the debate on amateurism and agreement from other clubs. We are acutely aware of the perception of player drain on non-Super 6 clubs and therefore this initiative can only be good for the players and all of Scottish Rugby.

Interaction with non-Super 6 clubs

All of the Super 6 Clubs recognise they have a responsibility to support and help develop their local clubs. To enable this, all Super 6 clubs will be arranging regular meetings with clubs within their area to discuss how they can best work together for their mutual benefit. Some of these meetings are happening already.

Super 6 is designed to enhance Scottish club rugby as a whole and as the custodians of a Super 6 Franchise we are determined to ensure that it is positive for all clubs within Scotland – not just the Super 6 clubs. We are open to discussion and would encourage you to contact us if you have any specific questions or concerns.

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About David Barnes 4012 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. Hard to know whether to be angry with them or sorry for the 6
    Choose the rules they like, ignore the others
    Reserve teams should go into leagues at the “right and natural level”, in a totally unnatural environment where 6 clubs are doped up with £137k of SRU bung.
    Good escape route when s6 goes bust though…
    They are suddenly acutely aware of the hoovering problem, having ignored it and seen it as “natural evolution” for months.
    Dual registration? Shameless opportunism given other leagues were supposed to be amateur?
    Whatever, good luck with that.. The solution could be worse than the problem!
    The thing about making it up as you go along is that you tie yourself in knots.

    They start with “all clubs were given a chance to bid”. I end with, when the terms are finally agreed, will Ed Accies, Currie, Hawks, Marr, Hawick, Gala, Dundee be allowed to bid on those terms? Thought not…

  2. Ah PaulJ you are obviously thinking that the franchise docs were “real” and not just advisory. The whole issue is that they are making it up as they go. 35 man squads? Maybe not. Just increased financial contribution from SRU – who approved that?

    The more interesting development is the chat around dual registered players. I understood that S6 players can’t olay in amateur leagues and vice versa. So is this not the case any more?

  3. If it is accepted the Super 6 franchise was applied for on the basis that the Club XV would play in National 1, then why not also accept that a part-time professional player “will not play in any fixture in which amateur players are engaged” as specified in the franchise document

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