Super Series to be disbanded

Super Series clubs left in dark as to next steps

Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson at the launch of Super Series in April 2018. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson at the launch of Super Series in April 2018. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

SUPER SERIES – the part-time professional league set up in 2019 to bridge the gap between the top of the club game and the pro tier which was previously known as Super6 – is to be disbanded.

It is not clear at this stage whether the competition will discontinue after this Spring’s Sprint tournament, or at the end of the initial five-year franchise period following the Autumn Championship. It is also not clear where the six clubs involved will play in the existing league set-up going forward.

The participating clubs were informed at a meeting with the Club Rugby Board and figures from the SRU performance department last night, and an all-staff online meeting for SRU employees was hosted this [Thursday] morning.

A statement issued by the Super Series clubs said:

“We, the current Super Series Clubs, are obviously disappointed that the Scottish Rugby Union Club Rugby Board and Performance department did not recommend to the Scottish Rugby Limited Board that Super Series continues. We do, however, accept the decision and look forward to competing in the upcoming Sprint Series.

“We were informed of the decision on Wednesday 14th February. We were surprised at the lack of consultation through the process and the detail in what comes next, however, we have confidence in Keith Wallace and Stevie Gemmell delivering a transition plan that sees Super Series clubs supported through what will be a very challenging period.

We have received assurances that there will not be a detrimental impact on the six clubs as they return their business and rugby models fully back to club rugby.”

 

More to follow …


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About David Barnes 3891 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.

106 Comments

  1. One question is will club players allowed to be paid once again or will they continue to be paid as some clubs already do by giving travelling expenses that equate to arriving by helicopter or having a “grossly overpaid” non existant job with a club sponsor???

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  2. The Super Series wasn’t the most cost effective use of the SRU’s limited finances. Yes, the Super Series was starting to help lift the standards of rugby in Scotland, but nowhere near enough to justify its continuation. This money instead needs to be spent in developing Academy players, firstly by providing the >17 year old ones with a living wage so they can become full-time athletes (& not worry how they’ll afford to live, which leads to mainly kids with rich parents being able to stay in the SRU pathway system). In addition the SRU pathway development system needs to be completely revamped, including having dedicated SRU positional coaches (i.e. matrix structure) responsible for identifying (including recruiting from other sports) & continually nurturing a broad tranche of kids through all the age grades so we create strength in depth in ALL positions. (Scotland has kids with huge potential but due to a general lack of specialist positional coaching at club level, a lot of these kids are untapped.)

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    • IMG. I’ve been surprised at some of the young talent that has been overlooked or rejected in recent years. A couple of years ago there was a lad that was cut from u16 regional trials fairly early on in the process. He was over 6ft tall, a good solid tackler, and was one of the fastest boys of his age in Scotland (he did athletics, I believe he’d recorded the second fastest time in the country for his age group). I was stunned to see him ‘cut’, he had huge potential, with good coaching he could have gone far. Probably didn’t go to the right school though…

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      • Hi, I do think there is the chance to return into the pathway set up at a later date. The lad might have been ‘cut’ as such, but I would have thought that everyone in the pathway has to be at a certain skills level for the coaches to work with. The lad might be able to develop his passing, field position etc outside of the pathway and then come back a better player? if he’s ‘lost’ to another sport, he was perhaps not that keen on rugby. Just a thought

      • @OV. The lad I have in mind didn’t have any obvious weaknesses. He was a very solid all round player, with terrific pace. Sadly, I genuinely believe that my comment about him going to the wrong school played a part in him not progressing. The head coach/selector was also a P.E. teacher at a private school. Surprise, surprise, the lads he knew from school did very well…

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      • Greenhawk- the SRU hate criticism in any way, I know a coach who was banned from commenting on the hive discussion panel because he was putting forward good arguments against dumbing down the minis age grade laws. I know a lad whose parents criticised the pathway, their son was deselected shortly after…he’s one of the best y18 players out there…

      • @greenhawk i have heard of similar situations. very poor management within the pathway if selectors are able to drop players because they don;t like something a parent, coach, or friend has said about the pathway. punishing child players as a weapon to gat back at critics is disgusting.

      • @Jinty @Forty. My son went through the regional selection process a few years years ago. I saw all of the coaches in action and thought that a couple of the senior coaches were absolutely dreadful. There was a real arrogance about them, and their general demeanour when dealing with teenage boys did absolutely nothing to make it an enjoyable experience. That was the general view of all parents I got to know over many months. The coaches I refer to are still in place… they shouldn’t be.

        I should add that a couple of the coaches were excellent with the boys and really knew their stuff. Millan Browne for example…

      • Aside from the concerns over nepotism and coaches’ favourites being selected the other glaring problem with the pathway is that the 4 regions work independently of each other. This means that there are brilliant players being deselected in one region who are better than players being given out pathway contracts in others. Hardly any games between the regions to compare the players.
You see it when you have club teams play teams from other regions, one beats the other very well, player for player better on the pitch, yet the winning team has one lad with a contract and the well beaten team has 4… difference in quality from one region to another means the u17/u18 pathway contracts don’t make any sense.

      • Greenhawk I will add that I have a boy in the pathway at the moment. Same thing with parents and players views on it. Very unclear communication, cloak and dagger over contracts and no one rates it. Players unhappy in it too but you have to stick at it until they drop you. Altho I should watch what I’m saying here or sounds like my son will be dropped ! I agree on coach MB, great 👍

      • So the pathway is supposed to find scotlands best rugby players but if the coaches dont like something youve said they drop the player… wow, sums the SRU up to a tee. petty and unethical and meanwhile letting some of the best talent go. is it any wonder we are in crisis noone holds them to account

  3. The SRU lost £10m last year – this is huge for a small business despite the consistently growing revenues. Is this a way of cutting costs? How much does the Super Series cost the SRU? I’d like to see 3 anaylysis 1) cost vs revenue and if a loss was the gap closing? Were revenues rising? 2. Other values delivered ie players to the pro ranks, tougher games for the U20s 3. Interest, were crowds growing? Was broadcasting viewing increasing/declining? Was ad revenue growing? Only with these can a sensible judgement be made. And sadly I don’t see any of these things.
    We also need a carefully planned exit for the Clubs staff and players involved.

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  4. Well it looks like a 50-50 split on here for those for and against the super 6.
    No doubt with those supporting the clubs successful enough to secure one of the franchises for and those failing to get a franchise against, same old.
    I think the realists will understand the definition of an idiot is someone who keeps doing the same thing again and again expecting a different outcome. The old club system is withering , failing to attract sufficient playing numbers for the future, if you want to keep spouting past glories and past players – it won’t take you forward.
    The SRU tried something with the super6 and although not a roaring success at least it was something new. We will now never know if it was to be successful in future years. I feel sorry for all the back room staff and volunteers who have worked tirelessly to make a go of it. If you are one of those gloating in the demise , it tells us all we need to know about you.
    For the future , If we look at the Warriors franchise, they have managed to grow support from several hundred 15 years ago to regularly selling out scotstoun and they are attracting new young fans every week – often those who’ve never been to a club game. It has helped that the tournament itself is an exciting one. The URC is a more attractive league than the one the reivers were part of, perhaps a 3rd team now would find it easier to build a fan base. I for one would not base it in the borders given the parochial nature of the support in that are, they’ve failed to show cohesive turnout for the reivers or the southern nights.
    Whatever the future holds , in addition to those dyed in the wool committee men who have kept the game going over the years we need marketing men who can embrace the internet, embrace Instagram, Tik Tok to attract those youths who will go the way of football, and we need to create the match day experience through the pre and post game entertainment ,interesting food outlets , fan access to star players etc. that the warriors and the SRU have created at Scotstoun and Murrayfied , albeit on a smaller scale.

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  5. A sorry chapter in Scottish Rugby comes to a close. It is fascinating to read the comments here though. Demonstrates that our social discourse has gone the same way as our political one – defend your position to the end no matter what.

    The parallel I would draw would be Brexit. Many claims were made on both sides leading up to the referendum and we are now seeing what the reality of that vote now means. The sunny uplands of Brexit Britain are the mirage they always were.

    Why use Brexit? Because rugby is an ecosystem that has symbiotic connections within it. Disrupt those and you create significant consequences.

    Just for the record, this isn’t throwing people on the scrap heap. In the main it was part time players who could earn up to £12k a year, though I’m not sure how the sprint and series comps work for payment purposes. If that was someone’s “career” I would like to understand how they survived financially. Yes the Coach will be impacted and that should be dealt with appropriately.

    My biggest criticism of Murrayfield and Mr Dodson has been the lack of clear strategic and consequential thinking. Super 6 and Agenda 3 should be used as case studies in that regard. I was in the room when those votes were taken. It was ugly stuff and not becoming of a member organisation when the Exec basically forced through their way.

    If Super 6 was delivering its goals, this situation wouldn’t have happened. At least three S6 sides in significant financial distress. The ratio of players moving into the pro ranks from S6 underwhelming. Criteria after criteria abandoned when it didn’t suit – must have 4G pitch – sport scotland said no funds. No club players against pros (as imposed by Agenda 3) – err we are short of players so can we borrow some please? Coaching hubs for local clubs – we aren’t dirtying our feet attending lower league clubs. A league to develop our u20s ( copyright Sean Lineen) – much more important to win the league. We aren’t warehousing players – but could you let us use our clubs guys in the S6 team etc etc.

    Have there been successes? I’m sure there are some but not sufficient to justify the investment from Scottish Rugby and definitely not from the S6 sides.

    The Union losing £10.5m and likely to have another serious deficit in this financial year probably played a bigger part in this decision than we realise.

    Now we will have the further unedifying spectacle of the bun fight on where these sides return to. What a mess.

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    • The concept was sound, but in classic top down SRU strategy, the players were the losers financially, given their part-time contract for minimal financial gain – the cap for most squads was only £7,000. Compared to the coaches who were full-time, many SRU employees, aligned to a commensurate F/T salary. It got worse when each franchise were forced to employ a F/T Marketing Manager, again aligned to a chunky wage.
      Until the players at ALL levels are the KEY cog in the wheel, the results will stay the same. It was no different in the amateur era, where the SRU staff & blazers had healthy salaries & expense accounts & the poor players got by on hand-outs & sympathetic employers. Radical change will only be implemented if the personnel who have the desire for it are appointed – which would mean a clear out from top to bottom. Given their history, sadly an unlikely proposition.

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  6. There is an irony that Dodson, who forced Super 6 on Scottish rugby, will oversee its dismantling before his departure. Have no doubt that the financial mismanagement by him and his cronies, hidden by smoke and mirrors, is responsible for the demise.
    Goodness knows what other Trojan Horses are being discovered as the stakeholders take back control from the grifters and no hopes.
    The next few years will be difficult as finances are sorted but necessary to ensure rugby in Scotland has a future. Super 6 is just part of the collateral damage arising from the actions of the outgoing regime.

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  7. Give £250K to the winning Premiership team, half going to players. A lot of players are lost to real life responsibilities. £5K for a lad in his mid/late twenties is a decent incentive to stick around for the big win.

    Last time I watched my local team barely one of them looked over 25. I doubt they were all university bound, so presumably there were reasons to not continue to play including other responsibilities such as earning money.

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  8. Nobody has heard the SRU version of events and what is coming next TOL is not exactly an objective source. I, for one, will wait to see what happens. SRU can’t duck it up though.

    Super 6 was better than club rugby but the semi pro game is floundering in Europe. New ideas needed. More needed in academies, youth teams. Our best kids need to play as many high level games as possible before they leave school.

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    • You can question TOL’s objectivity, but Super Series being disbanded is a fact revealed in this article as a straight news story.

      What language in the article do you object to? Perhaps the statement issued by all Super Series clubs via this website as they presumably see it as a reliable news source?

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  9. Nobody has heard the SRU version of events and what is coming next TOL is not exactly an objective source. I, for one, will wait to see what happens. SRU can’t duck it up though.

    Super 6 was better than club rugby but the semi pro game is floundering in Europe. New ideas needed. More needed in academies, youth teams. Our best kids need to play as many high level games as possible before they leave school.

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  10. Everyone relax. It was a badly thought out concept that just about bankrupted half of it’s participants. This was always going to happen and is no bad thing so long as what comes next learns from the mistakes and can move the game forward. I have great sympathy for the folks who have invested into the tournament in good faith and made a go of it. Presumably an announcement on the future will be forthcoming.

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  11. Sevens team gone. Super Series going. Very few Edinburgh and Glasgow A games. Reintegration is going to be difficult. Seems as if there is no plan at all.

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    • Sadly, I agree. We wouldn’t have Kyle Rowe ready to step in if it were not for the sevens. I dare say there’s a few others who have benefitted over the years from that team. I used to love watching them on the circuit but now I don’t even tune in.

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  12. Trouble with that is that the rural clubs will be hammered if you move the season. It’s bad enough at the back end of it when the lambing starts and you lose a chunk of your lads to it. If it was made, let’s say, a summer sport, you’d lose even more of your players to silaging and slurrying.

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  13. This Supe6 news is another example of the SRU’s disregard for anything but themselves. It’s abhorant that they can make a decision like this without consultation, ruining people’s livelihoods and careers with scant regard for their employees. Is it even legal? Imagine if a corporate did this without consultation, trying to source other roles within the company or proper severance. It’s atrocious behaviour. The lack of future options is another glaring disgrace, no one knows what is happening going forward, what happens with the two real outlier teams (Muir and County)? Do they get integrated back into div 1 or 2? If they don’t they’ve been badly let down, if they do there will be uproar amongst current clubs. Dodson is going – all the yes men under him need to go as well, get rid of that whole level and get people in that car about rugby before the ‘business’. They’ve just tossed a hand grenade and covered their ears.

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  14. No major problem with Super Six concept. Should simply have been confined to Scottish qualified and under 23 players. No journeymen, no foreigners.

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    • There were hardly any non Scottish qualified players playing in the teams, I believe the clubs agreed a maximum of 4 per squad.
      The journey men as you call them would have become less and less as the teams developed but they had to start somewhere. It’s only been going for 4 years!!

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      • That’s right. It was much better when the numbers from abroad were reduced. Taking out all players from abroad is not sensible. They help raise standards. Connor Gordon was an outstanding influence at Stirling Wolves,

        An area that must be addressed is the payment of players. Everyone knows the rules get broken. Throwing cash at short term success has been the ruination of many sports clubs. It also encourages player turnover, so no surprise players drop out of the game, when they are no longer playing alongside their mates. Would love to see SRU sort this out, but I won’t hold my breath!

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    • Edinburgh & Glasgow A teams,four district sides regularly playing higher level of rugby followed by strong club system feeding & supporting local district sides

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      • It is highly unlikely that the Professional clubs will be able to generate anything like the number of A games that they aspire to, they won’t be competitive and almost certainly nobody will be allowed to watch. How is this preferable to upcoming players and fringe squad players taking part in a semi-pro league? The S6 was a competitive league where the Academy stage 3 players were fully integrated (as were pro players requiring game time). Lots of people pushing the A games will be extremely disappointed when nothing happens (and in particular fringe / Academy players who get no game time). This is the reason the English Premiership A-League was disbanded, and why their academy players are loaned out to Championship and to English Nat 1 and Nat 2 teams.

  15. It’s good to see some balanced opinions on this matter, it will be sorely missed and I don’t know what will replace it. It has had 4 years to develop and there were real signs of it starting to work. It was a shame that it really received little support from the SRU and especially our DoR and his support staff. There were many things that could have been done to improve and develop it.
    One final point, Mark Dodson gets a lot of stick over “ his baby”. Let’s not forget why he got involved in the first place!

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  16. The standard of Super6 rugby I saw at Stirling coupled with the U19 and U20 doesn’t inspire. Its poor.
    It begs the question where are the SRU taking Mini and U13-18 rugby in developing and generating the next generation of adult players.
    Youth rugby in the clubs has collapsed over the years and continues to be undermined. The SRU have little or no interest, some wealthy schools pilage talent from the clubs, rather than develop their own talent, and the schools do whatever they like and burn up a lot of talent to show off their rugby credentials and keep the money rolling in. Schools and clubs are in direct competition and rules are continuing to be introduced by the SRU which unashamedly favour the schools and penalise the clubs. For some unfathomunable reason the clubs have stood by and allowed, and continue to allow, this discrimination to continue.
    Its clear the SRU favour the schools and the schools are only interested in their bank balance, rugby prestige and their own vanity.
    Tbh the adults get everything they deserve but its the kids that are the ones that have their dreams and aspiration quashed.

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  17. The financial reality of pro rugby

    Despite CVC money, Scttish Government cash & World Cup cash Murrayfield still managed to post a loss £10m – costs have got to be cut from the budget.

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  18. So we’re going back to thinking the club set up can develop pro players, which they’ve singularly failed to do for twenty years. Super Six was a better standard and was starting to have an impact. If the problem was lack of money for some of the clubs, as rumoured, then that’s not going to improve by spreading resources more thinly across more clubs. What a load of nonsense.

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    • Well said Donald beat to that comment – over to you clubs…! SS had many faults and some clubs struggled with the commitments it brought but where do the players go now?

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      • Not to mention other clubs producing sub standard players like Russell Horne Matthews Gilchrist…..far more international players came from clubs than S6. Nonsense to claim otherwise

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      • Guys like Darcy were in the Edinburgh Academy while they were at Hawick as well – they weren’t exclusively developed by Hawick. For guys who break through at 18-20, the clubs alongside the academies can work. But for players who develop later (and we’re talking a lot about front row and lock) they don’t play a good enough standard of rugby from 18-21. We only have the single development pathway of youth @ clubs -> academy -> pro team. We need alternatives.

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    • Spreading the same funds amongst 4 Districts rather than 6 clubs would make more sense. Not having any Glasgow representation from the outset and expecting Stirling to cover everything north of the central belt was a fatal error, as well as having 3 Edinburgh sides. No buy in from most of the country. Crowds were very poor as a result.

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    • Hawick provided 3 starters for Scotland a few years back and 2 starters for the British Lions. It can be done but it has to be from the bottom up. Schools to semi-juniors to juniors to seniors. Add the District level under Glasgow and Edinburgh. As success is achieved and attendance increases, then a third Professional team in the Borders.

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      • Point is, nobody steps from the Hawick first team straight into a pro side. There’s a level missing. And because that’s missing, guys in the age range 18-21 don’t get to play the level of rugby that will develop them as players with any regularity. Wales has it’s elite league, in England the Championship plus the Premiership Rugby Cup, not going to pretend I know much about the All Ireland League. Our guys end up training and playing bounce games of Edinburgh v Glasgow.

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  19. Sad, because there were some very good games in the Super Series, but seemingly inevitable because it created an unnecessary divide in Scottish Rugby through the way it was implemented. Going forward the priorities must be
    a) ensuring as few as possible of super series players are lost to the game – give them a competition they want to be part of

    b) concentrate on reintegrating the top clubs/super series teams in a way that works for them all . What about the 9 premiership clubs (minus relegated Jed) plus Ayr as the promoted club, plus the remaining 4 super series teams – Watsonians, Stirling Co, Melrose and Boroughmuir – playing one season as a 14 team competition – to determine a top 10 the following season? It could be done with 2 conferences (East/West) or with an 6/8 split after 13 games (like Scottish premiership football) to play a 2nd sequence of games determining who is champions and who wins a place in a top 10 league the following season

    c) considering the advantages to be gained by playing the top club level fixtures in the Spring, Summer and Autumn to take advantage of better weather and surfaces as super series teams did

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    • Great suggestions David. Sad that the SRU have not come up with anything like that forethought. Moving away from December and January rugby in Scotland is surely a critical improvement to make. We damage pitches and cancel games, for very little fun or skill improvement at that time of year.

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    • David McAdam. Very well thought out answer to what is going to be a huge problem for the SRU. I hope some one in “authority ” reads you comments.

  20. I enjoyed the super6/sprint/series. Did seem a marked improvement in standards and has allowed a number of players to transition to pro level. Hope any spare cash created by this decision is used wisely – youth pathway overhaul and a parallel U20 premiership league?

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  21. Looks like some of the perennial 2nd division sides who were allowed into the premiership with the creation of S6 will be on their way back down.

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  22. Surely it has to end after the sprint? If it carries on the players will finish at end of October and will have no rugby until September the following year.

    Even re-integrating players into clubs after super 6 will be detrimental to all those who have been training since July with their club sides.

    • Kenny .
      They won’t have many players .
      With no money coming in
      Many will be looking for jobs to pay mortgages
      Real life takes over

    • Kenny, I can guarantee that players are looking for other clubs NOW. Contracts they have at the moment arent worth the paper they’re written on and clubs can’t afford to sue so they’ll leave. The Spribt will be essentially club players with splitting u20: across it to make up numbers. It’s done now – I wouldn’t even bother running the sprint.

      • Rugby lad agree completely. Just going on basis that sprint squads are already up and running and under 20’s won’t be allowed to play after six nations and ‘resting’ before world trophy.

        I do firmly believe that clubs are way forward if they can be invested in and allowed to develop

  23. I’m pretty agnostic on whether the Super 6 was the right vehicle to bridge the gap between the amateur and pro levels in Scotland and provide a development pathway for young players. But now it appears to have been unceremoniously dumped I hope they have a good plan B.

    Because otherwise just reverting to what stood before isn’t going to take us anywhere except backwards. We still have a huge challenge in Scottish rugby.

    Surprised this has been done now and not when a new CEO is in position and can take responsibility for implementing a new strategy.

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  24. What an Errsse Dodson has made of Scottish rugby .
    I was right all along calling it ‘Dodson’s Folly ‘

    Ps
    And the rotten thing is Dodson will not be bothering .
    He’s made his money and scampering off leaving others to fix his mess

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    • Angry Gala 2 will be reeling now .
      cant wait for his response to this
      He’ll have to show face again at Netherdale and bite his lip

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    • Feel sorry now for all the players who’ve signed on to this farce
      Now out of a job no money coming in .
      It was always going to happen

      What a shambles Dodson’s left

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  25. I enjoyed watching the Super Series, it brought a higher standard of games to the clubs involved. The timing of the season also suited families going to watch the games, early and late summer nights were great for the youth and kids to come and watch. Really made for a great buzz.
    If they are going to revamp the performance arm of the SRU then they should be taking a long, hard look at the youth pathway as well. It’s nothing more than an U18 version of ‘jobs for the boys.’ Time for change across the whole of the performance set up.

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  26. I had serious misgivings about the way Super 6 was introduced – but it did raise playing standards and produced some great games. A lot of people invested their time and money in making it work as best they could.

    The SRU did not fulfil their commitments and now there had been a coup at Murrayfield, the new power brokers want to pull down every edifice of the Dodson regime.

    Taking Scottish rugby back 5 years and shafting everyone who threw their weight behind Super Series is hardly going to drive playing standards, player numbers or trust in the SRU.

    Scottish rugby philosopher has written a powerful article. It’s a sad reflection on those in charge of the SRU. For all those who are celebrating, you might want to consider recent lessons about toppling regimes with no plan B.

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    • It seems an odd announcement to make without announcing an alternative plan. A big vacuum has been left. I initially wasn’t a fan of Super 6, but the standard has improved over the years and this season it has added a hard edge to the Scotland U20s who have fronted up well in the 6 nations. I have no doubt this was as a result of their learnings in Super 6. I think this decision needs revisiting with future Super 6 teams made up of more Scottish youth (less emigres) and 2-3 fewer old hands.

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  27. a good opportunity to drive the club game forward on scheduling in particular and have a expanded district championship (more prep time) for the top and bottom of the club spectrum in the second half of season.

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  28. Never been a fan of the Super 6, but what now?
    What happens to the players?
    What happens to all the other clubs in the country? There will be a knock on effect throughout the game.
    It’ll be the teams in the lower leagues that will feel the brunt of it, no doubt, through league restructures etc.

  29. Yes we still need something to bridge the gap between Club Rugby and Professional Teams (Glasgow/Edinburgh and International Teams).
    Await with interest in SRU next decision!!!

    I don’t think the games in Super 6 were advertised enough my Local Radio didn’t and still don’t mention Super 6 games (or any off the Local Club games),and U could,not just turn up and pay at the gate.

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    • Watsonians .Stirling not in Prem 1.
      Boroughmuir are way down the leagues .
      They won’t be happy .

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  30. Whatever good intentions there will have been.

    Whomsoever tried hard to make it work

    The fact remains that the handling of this communication is itself a fitting epitaph to the Super Series itself.

    Abject. Amateur. Abysmal

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  31. This was always a bad idea and it was inevitable that the scheme would fail. It demonstrated a complete lack of understanding about Club rugby in Scotland. I have a question. Approximately how many players are attached to each of the Super 6 clubs?

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  32. Disappointing news to say the least, we were beginning to see real talent emerge and force their way into the pro teams in large part due to their development in the SS. The U20’s have looked far more ready for international rugby also.

    Ah well i hope they come up with something to replace it. Otherwise there is going to be a continual needs to depend on foreign imports due to limited pro-team opportunities.

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    • @AngryGala. In what way have they u20’s progressed? They won a 6 Nations match last season (admittedly against a side that had something like 6 yellow cards!), and they’ll be lucky to win one this season. Where is the progression?

      I should point out that Scotland faced a very under strength French side last week (9 changes made from their game against Ireland), so it would be pushing it to say that we gave the World Champions a decent game.

      Get the lads back playing with and against experienced club players. They’ll learn far more in that environment than they ever would as part of a Futures squad.

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  33. So we have got rid of the clown Dodson and now we are getting rid of his ludicrous creation. But how long will it take to repair the damage to club rugby and how much will it cost to wind-up his beloved franchises?

    Can any single individual ever have done so much damage to Scottish rugby as the appalling Dodson?

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    • No although I hate to say it as what a fanatstic player he was for Kelso and SCotland but maybe Jeffries for selling his soul in staunchly supporting Dobson and developing a taste for sitting at the top table with the other world rugby trough eaters.

  34. Biggest mistake was disbanding the borders pro club should have been made a development side just like the Irish set up spent a heap of money getting the club and pitch sorted then pulled th plug badly run from day one .

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    • The Borders have had their chance to host a pro team and the fact that the Reivers are defunct shows that the Borders public didn’t support it.
      A second chance with the Southern Knights was a similar failure.
      The strength of rugby there is in the inter-town rivalries and local bragging rights from sporting success hence the importance of the Borders League for clubs in the area. Even AngryGala would savour a redblooded victory of his home club against Hawick or Melrose.
      Accept that the Borders is not fertile ground for a pan South pro team and let localism thrive. A 3rd pro club will need to be based in a city with the potential to grow a supporter base. Doesn’t need to be a rugby heartland. Aberdeen, particularly given the recent failures of the football club, would have been a better option with a market of sports spectators.

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    • Absolutely set up a pro team in the Borders to presumably play itself each week. Are you Dodson in disguise?

      The last thing we need is another totally meaningless franchise.

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  35. Feel for the teams who put so much into it. Dobson half hearted hangover is beginning and this is just the start, more will follow in every aspect of Scottish Rugby. His wage will be the cheapest price of them all that the Union will pay.

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    • Utter shambles. I bet no one will get to see the actual recommendations of the independent review panel. It should be compulsory to have it published
      To announce a change without informing clubs of their future structures and participation smacks of what lies ahead.
      If I was a young player I’d be off at the first opportunity
      In no time at all the new autumn and summer tests will become full competition fixtures. With those 10 plus fixtures ( inc 6 nations games) with added time off you will be lucky if the top guys play 5 to 10 times for pro Clubs.
      Replacing S6 Don’t worry pro Clubs will play A games , well, been, here ooops
      no players. So club players drafted in. Oops again Clubs have argued for years that you can’t mix amateur and pro players. But hey That’s OK now we have our way . But then maybe union says we need to look after the best young players as the clubs wont be good enough increase the academy range to say 23.. oops Clubs won’t have enough players.
      At least we decided a while back on smaller leagues, hmm let’s change that as well. Never mind the rain or snow, it will be fine our amateur players love playing 9 months a year.
      Top 6 internationally, a fond memory indeed.

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  36. I know this format had many detractors but I for one will be sad to see it go, having attended matches around the country and followed on both TV and streaming services.

    The gulf between Premiership and the limited Pro opportunities in Scotland was narrowed with the Super Series. I’m sure many will argue the point but watching the inter-district games at GHA last year, there’s a clear difference between the levels and understandably so, that was the whole point.

    If something is being taken away, I await with baited breath as to what will be additive to the “system” to improve upon where we are. We need to develop grassroots players and stop the ever growing reliance on importing talent at both pro clubs and national team and growing the game domestically.

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    • Aye such a big gulf that the Nat 1 n 2 players who slotted in to get fixtures completed didn’t look in the slightest bit out of place. Bad idea terribly executed from the off a d there has been a massive drop off in performance for age grade players caught up in the farce….from 5th in RWC to nowhere in the wee boys tournament all during S6. It failed in every single metric.

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      • The Super 6 was never created for the lads in the pathway. It was meant for young players who had been overlooked by the pathway, or older players who had been late developers. The pathway players had their own development strategy and it didn’t work, so they then tried putting them into the super series. Many players have come thro the Super 6 and gone onto pro contracts but with only two pro sides in Scotland most of them went to play elsewhere.

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      • Rugby Fan. You’re correct about the ‘gulf’. I can think of several players, some of whom did very well in Super Series this season, that were mostly playing 2nd XV rugby at Prem clubs the season before.

        How on earth could a 2nd XV Prem player become a regular in Super Series a matter of months later if there was a gulf in standard?

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  37. I know this format had many detractors but I for one will be sad to see it go, having attended matches around the country and followed on both TV and streaming services.

    The gulf between Premiership and the limited Pro opportunities in Scotland was narrowed with the Super Series. I’m sure many will argue the point but watching the inter-district games at GHA last year, there’s a clear difference between the levels and understandably so, that was the whole point.

    If something is being taken away, I await with baited breath as to what will be additive to the “system” to improve upon where we are. We need to develop grassroots players and stop the ever growing reliance on importing talent at both pro clubs and national team and growing the game domestically.

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  38. A very short sighted move. Just as S6 was starting to really take off too. Disappointing to say the least especially for the likes of Melrose who have invested so much

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    • Take off where ? For the vast majority of club rugby fans note not the national team , the Super 6 has been an expensive irrelevance.

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      • The Big Felly .
        Melrose must be ruing the day they signed up to this .
        Once the top dogs in Scotland .
        Now .
        not be in top league and their 7s are going downhill

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    • I think most people vastly overestimate how much the super series has cost the SRU – approx. 360k in player salaries, probably around the same in staff costs, and then you have filming etc. I would be very surprised if it cost over £2m a season in total.

      The High Performance & Academy section of the SRU budget this year (which includes Super Series) cost about 4.5m in total; given that includes Glasgow and Edinburgh’s entire academies and I believe the Inter District Championship it would be hard to say this has been a huge investment from the SRU so seems short sighted killing it now.

      For context, Glasgow & Edinburgh’s player salaries alone are around 4.5-5m each, that doesn’t include academy, club running costs etc… Scrapping Super Series will not save anywhere near the probably 10m a season to justify a 3rd pro team.

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      • Gotta agree. It’s was pretty small beer when you consider the other costs involved in the game.

        So what now? I haven’t heard one better solution. We can shuffle around the club teams as much as we want, but they’re just not well supported enough.

        Then we all talk about youth pathways and schools rugby. Much as I hate to make excuses for the SRU, but they can’t force schools to play rugby. And with the concussion stuff doing the rounds, it’s a hard sell.

        Kids aren’t interested and it has to come from demand. If we couldn’t capitalise as sport of the doldrums of Scottish football over the past 20 years, we never will. And that’s now on the up.

        So what would it take to change that? Either a HUGE amount of external money (Elon?) or some very serious success from the Scotland team. But it’s chicken and egg.

        I’m sorry to say it, but I think we may come to look back on this past decade as the pro ‘glory years’.

      • Agreed. £10 k a player is nothing. Surely no one was actually surviving of that or even part time in these days.

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