THE 12 clubs who have submitted applications to take on a Super 6 franchise have been announced. Ayr, Boroughmuir, Currie Chieftains, Dundee, Edinburgh Academicals, Gala, Glasgow Hawks, Hawick, Heriot’s, Melrose, Stirling County and Watsonians have all thrown their hat into the ring.
As reported earlier this week, there is not an application from Aberdeen.
The panel which will assess the submitted applications against the criteria outlined in the franchise documents, and hold review meetings with each of the potential franchisees before making recommendations to the Board, has also been revealed. It is to be chaired by former Scotland international winger and successful oilman Sir Bill Gammell.
Stewart Harris, the chief executive of sportscotland is also on the panel. The five other panellists are SRU employees: Andrew Healy (director of finance), Gregor Townsend (national team head coach), Gemma Fay (head of women and girls rugby), Stephen Gemmell (technical director) and Mark Dodson (chief executive).
The decision to have Fay, who joined the governing body at the start of the year, on the panel is surprising given that there is no direct connection between her department (women and girls rugby) and Super 6.
Director of domestic rugby Sheila Begbie and director of rugby Scott Johnson are not on the panel.
The ultimate decision on which applications have been successful will be made by the Scottish Rugby Board.
“The level of interest and positivity around this crucial development for the top tier of Scotland’s club game has been remarkable and is reflected in the significant number of high quality applications we have received,” said Dodson.“It demonstrates what is possible when Scottish Rugby and its member clubs work together towards the common goal of improving the quality and infrastructure of the game in Scotland.”
“Over the coming weeks we will be assessing each of the applications and continuing our dialogue with those interested parties to ensure we have the strongest possible foundations in place to begin Super 6 and the on-going delivery of our Agenda 3 strategy.”
Scottish Rugby President Rob Flockhart welcomed the applicants.
“I am delighted that the hard work carried out by interested member clubs and Scottish Rugby staff has generated such a significant interest in the franchises for Super 6,” he said.
“I know from speaking to club members across the country that our Agenda 3 plans, of which Super 6 forms an important part, to support clubs in becoming more sustainable and central to their local communities are welcome and recognised as vital to ensure the health of our sport at all levels here in Scotland.
“This is an ambitious long-term strategy. Today’s deadline closes one chapter and begins another in shaping our club game, for the better, for the years to come.”
Details of how Scottish Rugby will unveil the successful applications on 1st May will be announced in due course.