THE top six teams in the Welsh Premiership last year – Merthyr, Cardiff, Pontypridd, Llandovery, Ebbw Vale and Aberavon – will compete against Scotland’s Super 6 sides next season, in the cross-border element of this new tier in the Scottish club game.
The competition will be split into two pools of six, containing three teams from each country. During the first season, which will be shorter due to the World Cup, each team will play against the the three cross-border teams in their pool on a home and away basis from mid-April through to the start of June. The winner of the competition will be decided on a league ranking based on number of points gained over the six matches. In subsequent years, it is anticipated that the pools will feed into a play-off format finale.
“Scottish Rugby and the Welsh Rugby Union will now work together to finalise competition rules, commercial rights and confirm the broadcast opportunities,” said the statement issued by the SRU. “The cross-border competition will also provide a development opportunity for match officials and both Unions have committed to providing an appropriate level of refereeing appointments for the matches.”
SRU Chief Executive Mark Dodson has not spoken directly to the press in over a year but was quoted in the release.
“This is another exciting step in the development of Super 6 and I’m delighted to join with the WRU and create a strong cross-border opportunity for our respective teams to compete in,” he said. “We have developed a very positive working partnership with the WRU in recent years and this is an extension of that work.
“We want our Super 6 players to be exposed to a range of experiences which are designed to raise the standard of players at that level and we now know the Welsh teams they will pit themselves against and it promises to be a very interesting competition to see develop in the coming years.
Scottish Rugby’s Technical Director, Stephen Gemmell, added: “It is great news to be able to confirm that the promised cross-border element of Super6 is now agreed and in place with our colleagues from the Welsh Rugby Union and the Welsh teams confirmed.
“It is a key strategic element of our overall objective to raise the standard of rugby at the top of our domestic game in Scotland and having a concentrated competition will test our players, coaches and match officials in a credible and performance focussed way.
“We are looking forward to working closely with the Welsh Rugby Union on this project and are encouraged by their decision to see the benefits of linking with us and playing against the Super6 teams going forward.”
WRU Group Chief Executive, Martyn Phillips, said: “We are thrilled that six of our Indigo Group Premiership teams will join Scottish Super6 teams in a cross-border competition at the end of this season. It is an exciting development for our Premiership sides, while giving supporters something new to look forward to.”
WRU Community Director, Geraint John, added, “It’s great to be able to confirm this cross-border initiative with Scottish Rugby. We’ve worked closely with our clubs to increase the level of competition available to them and we look forward to seeing how being part of the Super6 will challenge players, coaches and match officials.”