Super 6 takes shape
Capital clubs enjoy franchise success
Mark Dodson believes the Super 6 will raise the standard of rugby at the top of the club game (pic: SNS Group)
Three Edinburgh rugby clubs are among the six to have been awarded franchises for the new Super 6 competition which kicks off in 2019/20.
The six available franchises have been awarded by Scottish Rugby to Ayr, Boroughmuir, Heriot’s, Melrose, Stirling County and Watsonian FC.
A total of 12 applications were received, with Currie Chieftains, Dundee, Edinburgh Academicals, Gala, Glasgow Hawks and Hawick all unsuccessful.
All applicants submitted their bid documents within the 30 March deadline and presented to a Review Panel last month.
This Review Panel, which was independently chaired by Sir Bill Gammell and also included Stewart Harris, chief executive of Sportscotland, conducted a rigorous assessment of each application before making a recommendation to the Scottish Rugby Board on which bids should succeed.
The recommendation was unanimous and fully supported by the Board.
Sir Bill Gammell, 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.”
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.
At least one franchise will be based in each of the four regions: Caledonia; Glasgow and the West; the Borders; and Edinburgh and East Lothian. Two additional franchises have also been awarded.
The six successful bids were those considered to be the most robust and which best met the criteria.
Scottish Rugby 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.
“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.”
The Super 6 will form a new top tier of the domestic game. It will be semi-professional and work to close the gap between the club game and professional teams in Scotland.
Each squad will comprise no more than 35 players, who can be paid a salary no greater than £12,000 a year.
Scottish Rugby will put £62,500 towards player wages, which the franchise must match, and £75,000 towards hiring a full-time head coach and support staff.
Teams will play a 20-match season including games against sides from England, Ireland or Wales.
The move is being backed with £3.6million of new Scottish Rugby investment over five years reaching every club in Scotland.