Super Series (Scottish rugby union competition)

(Redirected from Super 6 (rugby union))

The SRU Super Series, known as the FOSROC Super Series for sponsorship reasons, and prior to 2023 known as Super 6 is a professional league for Scottish rugby union clubs, which began in 2019. As of 2023, the league consists of two competitions;[1]

Super Series
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2023–24 Super Series
SportRugby union
Founded2019; 5 years ago (2019)
No. of teams7
Country Scotland
Most recent
Stirling Wolves
Most titles1 (Ayrshire Bulls, Watsonians, Stirling Wolves)
Level on pyramid1

Concept edit

Six clubs were awarded licences to play in the new Super 6 league by the Scottish Rugby Union.[2]

The idea of the Super 6 was to bridge a perceived gap between the Scottish Premiership and the then Pro14 league (now the United Rugby Championship league) level to aid player progression. The six clubs will be turned into semi-professional clubs with a squad budget of £125,000 each. Every team will have a 35-man squad.[3]

Format edit

  • Super Series Sprint Season (previously Super6 Sprint) - running from April to June, involving a single round robin between the six core teams, with a single added game for each team against either Edinburgh Rugby A or Glasgow Warriors A, followed by two further matches to decide final positions; The URC 'A' sides are not themselves part of the competition, playing only three matches each, but the results against them form part of the six main team's records.
  • Super Series Championship, (previously Super6 Championship) the primary competition involving a full double round robin among the core six teams plus a Scotland Under 20 Development side, usually referred to as Futures XV, and a series of play-offs.[4]

The league is designed to bridge the gap between the amateur grade and the fully professional United Rugby Championship teams.

Six core clubs contest the league, joined by the Scotland Under 20 development team from 2023. In 2019, the six core teams entered into a contract for 5 years and there is planned to be no relegation or replacement in that period.[1]

The top level of club rugby in Scotland consists of the two professional teams - Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors - that play in the United Rugby Championship competition. They assign their players to the clubs below in a Pro-Draft; so that they can still play when not used by the professional sides.[5]

Region edit

Seasons edit

The Super 6 tournament began in November 2019 after the rugby world cup of that year.[6]

It was planned that the clubs would play 20 fixtures in total: 10 fixtures against one another home and away and then 2 play-off matches - which would conclude the Super 6 fixtures. A further 8 matches scheduled against non-Scottish clubs would then be played by the Super 6 clubs but this was to be outside the Super 6 competition.[3]

The first season was curtailed after the league finished and there were no play-off matches due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tournament did not run in season 2020-21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ayrshire Bulls became the inaugural Super 6 champions after defeating The Southern Knights at Dam Park in the playoff final.[7]

In November 2021, plans were announced that the tournament would be expanded in 2022 to include two new teams, including one from Glasgow and English based RFU Championship London Scottish.However, plans for this did not come to fruition in time for the 2023 Season[8]

Criticism edit

There has been a number of controversies surrounding the creation of the new league:- some argued that the gap between the Scottish Premiership and Pro14 isn't that great. For a so-called 'amateur' league, Scottish Premiership sides often played well against professional sides. Glasgow Hawks famously beating Toulouse in February 1998 a case in point.[9]

The main criticism of the new league is the geographical split. No less than half the league's clubs are based in Edinburgh. There are no clubs from Scotland's biggest city, Glasgow - even though Glasgow Hawks did apply to join; and rugby union in the city markedly on the up with Glasgow Warriors regularly selling out Scotstoun Stadium and providing the Pro14 with their highest ever attendance for a final. Similarly there are no clubs from Aberdeen, Dundee or Inverness represented, although only Dundee HSFP applied to join out of the clubs from those cities. This, it is argued, does not help the game grow in Scotland.[10]

Another argument is money. The initial money, capped by the Scottish Rugby Union, will only provide players with essentially a part time wage. Thus, most will need to secure other employment. Again, sceptics may point to this as not helping the players develop.[10]

Clubs edit

Team Stadium Capacity City/Area Ass. Club
Super Series core clubs
Ayrshire Bulls Millbrae 8,502 Ayr, South Ayrshire Ayr RFC
Boroughmuir Bears Meggetland 11,789 Edinburgh Boroughmuir RFC
Heriot's Rugby Goldenacre 10,098 Edinburgh Heriot's Rugby Club
Southern Knights The Greenyards 16,024 Melrose, Scottish Borders Melrose RFC
Stirling Wolves Bridgehaugh Park 10,589 Stirling, Scotland Stirling County RFC
Watsonian Myreside 13,799 Edinburgh Watsonian RFC
Participating in the Super Series Championship only
Futures XV (SCO U-20) tba tba tba SRU
Participating in Super Series Sprint, but not part of League
Edinburgh Rugby A tba tba tba Edinburgh Rugby
Glasgow Warriors A tba tba tba Glasgow Warriors

References edit

  1. ^ a b Bell, Sarah (2023-03-06). "Super6 set to return as FOSROC Super Series". Scottish Rugby. Retrieved 2023-03-07.
  2. ^ "Super6". Scottish Rugby Union.
  3. ^ a b "SRU issue Super 6 update to member clubs". 14 February 2019.
  4. ^ Super6 set for new season
  5. ^ "Tennent's Premiership pro player draft for 2018-19 season unveiled". 22 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Super 6 opening season to start after Rugby World Cup 2019". 13 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Super6 to relaunch on 30th July after 15 month hiatus". 16 June 2021.
  8. ^ "London Scottish hope to be part of 'Super8' for 2022-23 season". 5 November 2021.
  9. ^ "Hawks 37 Toulouse 15 --Mike Blackie recalls a famous win".
  10. ^ a b Black, Cammy (May 1, 2018). "The Super Six Pack". Scottish Rugby Blog.

External links edit