Scottish Rugby announce League Reconstruction

Demise of Super 6 sees changes in Prem, Nat 1, 2, & 3

Back on February 14th Scottish Rugby announced a new Male Performance Pathway

As part of this it was announced that the Super 6 licence agreements would not be renewed beyond November 2024 and the clubs, Ayrshire Bulls, Boroughmuir Bears, Heriot’s Rugby, Southern Knights (Melrose) , Stirling Wolves and Watsonians FC,  were informed of this on the same day. 

The club sides associated with Super 6 teams were demoted from the Premiership and placed in National League Division 1 when the Super 6 competition came into being in November 2019.

The fortunes of the club sides’ of the Super 6 teams have varied. Heriots bounced back into the Premiership pretty quickly and, as I’m sure you know, Ayr won National League Division 1 this season winning back their place in the top division. 

Watsonians and Melrose have held their places in National 1, Stirling got relegated to National 2 last season, and finished in the lower half of that league this season. Boroughmuirs’ club side have been relegated twice and played in National League Div 3 this season also ending in the lower half of that table.

So the termination of the Super 6 teams left Scottish Rugby with the thorny issue  of determining the transition arrangements for the domestic leagues in light of the demise of Super Series. Specifically how to reintegrate these teams, and probably more importantly the semi-pro players in these teams, back into the National League structure. 

The Club Rugby Board came up with and number of proposals, click on seven options to read more about what they were.  After a period of consultation with the clubs, including the Super 6 teams, Scottish Rugby made their decision. which directly impacts the Premiership, National League Divisions 1, 2, & 3.

The Premiership will be expanded to 12 teams, with club sides of Melrose and Watsonian FC placed in the higher division together with already promoted Ayr team. With the relegation of Jed Forest RFC to Nat 1,  this gives us a Premiership consisting of the following teams;

Ayr, Currie Chieftains, Edinburgh Accies, Glasgow Hawks, Hawick, Heriot’s, Kelso, Marr, Melrose, Musselburgh, Selkirk, & Watsonians. 

GHK have been relegated from National 1 to National 2,  swapping places with Peebles who just secured their promotion to National 1 with a win over Aberdeen Grammar on Saturday. 

The  CRB have decided to place both Stirling & Boroughmuir into National 1.  Meaning that National 1 remain’s as a 10 team league consisting of;

Biggar, Boroughmuir, Dundee Rugby, Gala Rugby, Glasgow Accies, Highland, Jed Forest, Peebles, & Stirling County.  

This will leave both National 2 and National 3 with just 9 teams. However, the aim is to return all leagues to 10 teams as quickly as possible. 

To achieve this there will be 3 teams relegated from the Prem in season 24/25, with the winners of National 1 being promoted to get back 10 teams. 

Similarly, there will be 3 teams relegated from National 1, with the winners of National 2 promoted to maintain a 10 team league, and appropriate arrangements in National 2 & 3 to return them to 10 team leagues for season 25/26.

So what does this mean for Highland?

Director or Rugby, Chris Brogan and Coach Brian Bell were of the same opinion, with Brian saying,

“Whilst it’s not the option we preferred,  it does have us in a very competitive league next season.

Based on our performances this season there’s an opportunity to win promotion however there isn’t much room for error with 3 teams to be relegated.”

We’ll leave the last word to Head Coach David Carson who said said,

“Not much change for us , we’re still in National 1. The strength of the Super 6 sides (Boroughmuir & Stirling) will be unknown. 

But with 3 teams going down, and if the league is as tight as last year, it’s going to be very competitive. 

As usual we need win our home games and gather as many points away as possible. There’s exciting times ahead!”

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