Melrose Rugby are all set to contest a new trophy to herald the start of the 2014-15 campaign.
Scotland’s champion club side, and Heriot’s, holders of the National Cup, will meet on Saturday, August 23, in the inaugural BT Scottish Rugby Charity Shield.
The game will crown a feast of rugby at The Greenyards the week before the new BT Premiership season kicks-off.
Kicking off the action will be a pre-season clash between Edinburgh Rugby and Leicester Tigers (2pm) before the Charity Shield at 5pm.
The initiative came from Melrose and was discussed with Scottish Rugby and the Premiership Forum. Mike Dalgetty, Director of Rugby at Melrose, said: “One of the key elements of the day will be the charity side of it.
“At Melrose, we are supporting Breast Cancer Care as our sole charity partner this season.
“In the past the partnership has been for Melrose Sevens only but this year we’re making it season-long.
“We are launching an away strip with the Breast Cancer Care ribbon logo on the front and we’ll be doing a 600km bike challenge as well as activity during the Sevens.
“We envisage that as the BT Charity Shield initiative develops it will evolve and the charity element will always be core to the day.”
Scottish Rugby’s Head of Club Services, Nick Rennie added: “We were delighted to endorse this suggestion from Melrose and to provide a trophy for the inaugural match.
“It’s one of our strategic objectives to raise the standard of the domestic game. The launch of the BT Scottish Rugby Charity Shield will play a part in that regard and also give supporters a foretaste of the sort of action they can expect to see on a weekly basis in the BT Premiership.
“We look forward to working with BT Premiership clubs to drive this initiative forward on an annual basis.”
Iain Milne, former Scotland Grand Slam hero and vice-president at Heriot’s said: “We think this is a great idea and it’s a fixture which will prove a terrific advert both for Premiership rugby and for what our game is about and the values that we share.
“Recent matches between Heriot’s and Melrose have been free-flowing affairs with tries galore and we’ll both be encouraging supporters who come along to the Edinburgh Rugby v Leicester Tigers match, to stay and sample our game too.”