That was the month that was: May 2024

Scots on the move in Allianz Premiership, semi-pro tier created in Wales and Chas Afuakwah calls time

Anne Young is one of a number of Scotland internationals on the move in the Allianz Premiership this summer. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Anne Young is one of a number of Scotland internationals on the move in the Allianz Premiership this summer. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

by COLIN RENTON


Semi-pro tier introduced in Wales

Welsh Rugby will have a new competition next season, and it appears to have many of the characteristics of the soon-to-be-scrapped Super Series in Scotland. Super Rygbi Cymru aims to offer a pathway between amateur and professional rugby. One difference between the versions in Scotland and in Wales is that there will be 10 teams, each with a playing budget of £150,000 to build a 32-strong squad. The Welsh Rugby Union will provide £105,000 towards running costs and clubs must raise a matching amount. Teams will play each other home and away before the competition is decided by play-offs. In addition, a cup tournament will take place during the Six Nations.


World Rugby signs up new members

World Rugby has welcomed Montenegro as a member and has promoted Jordan to full member status, while reinstating Morocco as a full member following a restructuring of the country’s governance. The latest additions mean that membership of the global governing body now stands at 133 countries. Recent growth has been attributed to increased participation in sevens and the women’s game.


Happy end to Nice season

Stade Nicois, the club with which Scottish Rugby previously had a player development agreement, will play in ProD2, the second tier of French professional rugby, after winning the National League title. The victory came after a tense encounter against Narbonne at the neutral venue, Chambery, in the play-off final. Narbonne held a one point lead entering the final 10 minutes but a penalty and a converted try gave Stade Nicois a 39-30 success and clinched promotion.


URC: Glasgow Warriors discover play-off quarter-final opponents

Super Series: Ayrshire Bulls secure home play-off draw with comeback win over Heriot’s

URC: Edinburgh’s season ends on flat note with heavy defeat away to Benetton


Scott signs off on a positive note

International centre Matt Scott signed off at Leicester Tigers with a win over Exeter Chiefs. The victory rounded off a four-year spell at the Welford Road club for 33-year-old Scott, who has 40 caps for Scotland. There have been rumours of a move back to Edinburgh, where he started his professional career and had a further two-year spell following a sojourn at Gloucester, before returning south to join Tigers in 2020. However, the recent signing of Mosese Tuipulotu by the capital side appears to have scuppered such a move.


Chas calls time on Hawks involvement

Glasgow Hawks stalwart Chas Afuakwah has stepped down as director of rugby at Glasgow Hawks, bringing to a close an association with the club dating back to 1997 when he joined Hawks from the Glasgow professional side, having previously played for Glasgow Accies, whom he coached after retiring as a player. Afuakwah has held various positions at Hawks and took up the director of rugby role in 2020.


Discipline steers Benetton to win over Sharks

An eye-catching statistic from the URC match between Hollywoodbets Sharks and Benetton at Kings Park was the low penalty tally against the visitors. The Italian outfit conceded only two awards on the way to securing a 25-24 win.



Charities benefit from World Cup fundraisers

Scottish exile Angus Thomson has donated more than £32,000 to three rugby charities after a series of fundraising events. Thomson, who moved from Montrose to Australia four decades ago, used social media to promote the events held alongside Scotland’s World Cup matches in Marseille, Nice, Lille and Paris. He has now presented the proceeds of his efforts to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, Hearts & Balls and Murrayfield Injured Players Foundation.


Anderson back for more

Former Scotland age-group international Cameron Anderson has signed a contract extension with Harlequins. The 24-year-old utility back joined ‘Quins from London Scottish at the start of the season and has featured in three Gallagher Premiership matches as well as a Champions Cup fixture.


Canadian women topple world champions

Canada’s women moved up to second spot behind England in the global rankings after beating world champions New Zealand in the Pacific Four Series. The 22-19 result secured the overall title for the Canadians who were last in the top two eight years ago. The competition also featured USA and Australia.


Scots on the move

Scotland internationals Anne Young and Rachel McLachlan are among six players leaving Sale Sharks Women. The club struggled during the Allianz Premiership league campaign and suffered a five-point deduction for failing to comply with the requirement to have a minimum average of 13 English qualified players in their match day squad. A similar penalty was applied to Leicester Tigers Women.


Crowds celebrate win for Toulouse

Toulouse supporters celebrated in style after the club won the Champions Cup. The players were welcomed back to the city the day after landing the silverware in a tense clash with Leinster. Crowds at the Place du Capitol were restricted to 12,000, 4,000 fewer than had packed into the city’s central square to watch the previous day’s live coverage of the match which saw the club land a sixth European title.


Super Series: Ayrshire Bulls secure home play-off draw with comeback win over Heriot’s

About Colin Renton 296 Articles
Colin has been a freelance writer on various subjects for more than 20 years. He covers rugby at all levels but is particularly passionate about the game at grass roots. As a fluent French speaker, he has a keen interest in rugby in France and for many years has reported on the careers of Scots who have moved across the Channel. He appreciates high quality, engaging writing that is thought provoking, and hopes that some of his work fits that bill!

2 Comments

  1. For me May was mainly Kinghorn playing for Toulouse in the Champions cup rounds. Toulouse seem to have spotted something in him Edinburgh and Scotland missed, even his kicking has improved. Also watching the game in the era of Dupont is pretty special.
    Lets hope June can bring us Glasgow as URC champions, I can but dream.

    • good point to raise Al and would agree Kinghorn deserves a big mention. I don’t agree that Toulouse spotted something Edin and Scotland missed though. I think Kinghorn spotted and acted on something Edinburgh and Scotland won’t face up to. Complacency at Edinburgh. He felt it applied to himself and acted on it when the opportunity came along

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