Welsh clubs agree in principle to cross-border competition against Super 6

Concerns over costs of competing, amid a cut in central funding from Welsh Rugby Union, remains a potential sticking point

Mark Dodson
Cross-Border competition was a central plank of Mark Dodson's initial super 6 proposal. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

THE WELSH RUGBY UNION have agreed a deal in principle with the leading clubs in their jurisdiction to take part in a cross-border competition with Scottish Super 6 teams in April and May of 2020.

The provisional agreement is on the basis that this will have zero cost for the Welsh clubs involved. The WRU have already agreed to cover travel and accommodation expenses, and have asked clubs to identify any other overheads they anticipate arising from involvement in the competition. A follow-up meeting to discuss these extra costs has not yet been arranged.

The clubs are concerned that the WRU proposal to slash central funding to leading Welsh clubs from £93,000 this season to £50,000 in 2021-22 will not only prevent them from taking part in the cross-border competition but will impact on their long-term sustainability, with clubs like Neath, Cross Keys and Pontypridd already demonstrating financial difficulties during the 2018-19 season

Long Read: SGM was a new low in SRU governance

Premiership and National One clubs agree against ‘playing down’ of Super 6 players

Rangi Jericevich column: There is hope on the horizon for club rugby in Scotland

Welsh clubs have also been promised that structure and timings of this new cross-border competition will be reviewed after the first year, and they will demand a longer term commitment.

Cross-border competition has been a central plank of SRU Chief Executive Mark Dodson‘s controversial Super 6 initiative since it was first unveiled in August 2017, but Murrayfield has so far been very vague on exactly how this element of the new tier will look and operate.

The SRU announced in February that the cross-border segment of the Super 6 season will involve eight matches although the exact format of the competition remains unclear.

The Offside Line understands that Super 6 clubs have been told that an announcement on the deal which will bring Welsh clubs on board is imminent. There is also hopes that Irish clubs will get involved in the near future.

Dodson’s dream: Everything there is to know about Scottish Rugby’s ‘Super Six’ proposal

Heriot's Rugby10730259190694234
Ayrshire Bulls10640216182344028
Southern Knights10451238204345427
Stirling County10361188254-663118
Boroughmuir Bears10190215354-1394311

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article

Support our new, improved coverage this season 2019-20, with Super 6, National 1 and 2 leagues, fixtures and tables, and the small matter of our comprehensive coverage of Scotland at the RWC from Japan.

Invest in our gameyou can make a difference by keeping Scottish rugby at all levels in the news.

David Barnes
About David Barnes 1822 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.