THE SRU has announced the six franchises who will compete in its new Super 6 competition when it starts in 2019/20.
Ayr, Boroughmuir, Heriot’s, Melrose, Stirling County and Watsonians were confirmed today as the winning bids, with the union saying that franchise agreements will be entered into shortly.
Of the six bids to miss out, the biggest surprise was Glasgow Hawks, with Edinburgh getting three teams in the new part-time professional league and Ayr the sole representatives from the west.
There was a stipulation in the bidding process that at least one franchise should come from the four regions - Glasgow/West, Edinburgh, Borders and Caledonia. Stirling County have beaten Dundee to earn the most northerly slot.
The other bids to miss out came from Gala, Hawick, Currie and Edinburgh Accies.
The new competition will see the SRU fund a head coach and backroom staff and half the player wage bill. It is being driven through as a way to create a stronger level of rugby that bridges the gap between the club and professional game.
From 2019/20 it is intended that all rugby below the Super 6 tier will be strictly amateur.
SRU chief executive, Mark Dodson said: “At the outset I’d like to thank everyone associated with the 12 applicants who worked so hard to put forward a fantastic selection of bids. It was a great response and evident that a great deal of time and effort had been put into them.
“Given we had double the number of bids for the places available in Super 6, inevitably some of the applicants would lose out. The Review Panel gave each bidder a full, fair and equal opportunity to make their case.
“The six successful applications will, I believe, enable Super 6 to achieve our ambition to raise the standard of rugby at the top of the club game in Scotland and also create strong, sustainable franchises in their own right.
“The bids from the successful six clubs clearly demonstrated a shared vision for what Super 6 can become and highlighted the ambitions of these clubs to grow. This is the start of our Super 6 journey together and I feel we are well-placed to make it a success.”
Sir Bill Gammell, who chaired the Review Panel which assessed the 12 bids, said: “I believe the advent of Super 6 is an exciting, forward-thinking evolution within Scottish rugby. I was impressed by the strength, quality, partnership and collaboration in the 12 bids, demonstrating the real potential for future growth.”
An SRU statement said: “The bids were all assessed across consistent criteria which were: rugby, vision, governance, ground and facilities, partnerships and links, and financial sustainability, with consideration also given to the people behind the bid and its deliverability.
“Scottish Rugby will now form a working party consisting of members of Scottish Rugby and representatives from each franchise.”