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Super6 to return in April with ‘Sprint Series’

SUPER6 – the part-time professional league which was launched in 2019 to stand between the traditional club game and the professional tier of rugby in this country – will return on 16th April with a ‘Sprint Series’. 

This will involve every team in the league playing each other once before the table is split so that the top three teams play each of the bottom three teams over consecutive weekends to decide final seedings. 

There will then by a one-off representative match between a team selected from franchises categorised as the West of Scotland (Ayrshire Bulls, Stirling County and Boroughmuir Bears) and a team selected from the East of Scotland (Heriot’s, Southern Knights and Watsonians). 

The second half of the 2022 schedule for the league involves a Super6 ‘Championship’ which will kick-off on the first weekend in August, with every team playing each other twice (home and away), leading into semi-finals and a destination Grand Final. 

All of which means 17 to 20 competitive fixtures for each franchise over the course of the full year dependant on league standings. 

Once again, there is no cross-border element to the competition – which was a key selling-point when the league was first proposed back in 2018 – with Scottish Rugby claiming this is “due to all home unions focussing on recovering from the pandemic”. 

As in previous years, five FOSROC Scottish Rugby Contracted Academy players will be aligned to each of the six clubs to enhance the development of the next generation alongside their full-time training at either Edinburgh Rugby or Glasgow Warriors. It must be hoped that greater pressure is put on all six franchises to give academy and other emerging players meaningful game time so that we don’t have any repeats of the on-going Under-20s Six Nations campaign featuring several Scottish youngsters who are clearly undercooked in terms of competitive match experience. 

It has also been announced that each team will be given funding from “existing high-performance budgets” to appoint a full-time general manager to lead on their respective Super6 team’s off-field operations. 

“The FOSROC Super6 made huge developments on the field last year,” said Jim Mallinder, Scottish Rugby’s Director of Performance Rugby. “The type of game that was able to be played in the late summer window is conducive in developing the players in-line with the speed and intensity that the professional game is played at. 

“To now have two windows in which to play Super6 rugby, the spring and late summer, is hugely beneficial in helping players develop and prepare better for a professional rugby environment.” 

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