SUPER6 will return on 16th April with a ‘Sprint Series’ involving each of the participating teams – Ayrshire Bulls, Boroughmuir Bears, Heriot’s Rugby, Southern Knights, Stirling County and Watsonians Rugby – playing each other once, before the league is split so that the teams who finished in the top half play against the teams who finished in the bottom half over three weekends of play-offs to determine the final placings.
Following the ‘Sprint Series’, teams will combine to participate in a one-off match representing the East (team selected from Southern Knights, Heriot’s Rugby and Watsonians Rugby) and West (selected from Ayrshire Bulls, Stirling County and Boroughmuir Bears) of Scotland.
Then the FOSROC Super6 Championship will kick-off in the first weekend of August, with every team plays each other twice, with semi-finals and a destination Grand Final.
Over the course of the year teams will compete in between 17 to 20 competitive fixtures, dependant on league standings.
There is once again no cross-border element to the competition – which was a key feature of the original proposals for the league – with Scottish Rugby says is “due to all home unions focusing on recovering from the pandemic”.
As in previous years, five FOSROC Scottish Rugby Contracted Academy players will be aligned to each of the six clubs to enhance the development of the next generation alongside their full-time training at either Edinburgh Rugby or Glasgow Warriors.
It has also been announced that each team will be given funding from “existing high-performance budgets” to appoint a full-time general manager to lead on their respective Super6 team’s off-field operations.
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“The FOSROC Super6 made huge developments on the field last year,” said Jim Mallinder, Scottish Rugby’s Director of Performance Rugby. “The type of game that was able to be played in the late summer window is conducive in developing the players in-line with the speed and intensity that the professional game is played at.
“To now have two windows in which to play Super6 rugby, the spring and late summer, is hugely beneficial in helping players develop and prepare better for a professional rugby environment.
“For Super6 players to have the opportunity to play between 17 and 20 competitive games full of intensity and physicality is what was always planned for Super6. The aims and objectives of Super6 [to bridge the gap between the amateur and professional game] has not changed since its inception.
“I’m really pleased that we have been able to allocate existing funding to each team in support of the General Manager roles. Whilst we’ve previously invested on-field we now feel that the time is right to support and invest in the teams off-field, within budget.
“The General Managers at each of the teams will be responsible for developing and improving all off-field activities prioritising commercial expansion and overseeing the marketing and communications strategy for each of their teams.
“We believe that by doing this, the teams and clubs will become more sustainable and able to create better environments more alike the professional rugby game.”