Structure in place for contests in new season

Borders rugby clubs will soon have some clarity on the return to rugby competition structures in Scotland for season 2020-21.

More details should emerge in the next few days about the new regionalised rugby structure in Scotland for next season (archive image by Ian Rutherford)
More details should emerge in the next few days about the new regionalised rugby structure in Scotland for next season (archive image by Ian Rutherford)

A series of consultations undertaken by the Scottish Rugby Council with clubs and schools across the country has followed the alignment of Scottish Rugby’s six-stage roadmap for clubs and schools to the Scottish Government’s own phased exit from lockdown, in line with recommendations from World Rugby.

The Scottish Rugby Council has now made a series of suggestions to the Scottish Rugby Board.

Recognising the exceptional circumstances and challenges that the Coronavirus pandemic has created for the game, the Board has suspended the national and regional competitions for one season.

It has authorised a separate series of competitions designed to support teams returning to the field to play against neighbours, local rivals or smaller clusters of teams.

The Tennent’s Premiership with National League Division 1, and National League Division 2 with National League Division 3 teams, will be split across two competitions, culminating in three finals at BT Murrayfield.

The Women’s Tennent’s Premiership and Women’s National League Division 1 teams will have a single competition, which will also culminate in two finals at BT Murrayfield.

Men’s and women’s Regional Division teams will participate in a series of regional or local competitions.

Scottish Rugby’s official beer partner, Tennent’s, will continue its support of club rugby through their involvement in these competitions.

Fixtures will be released following the next Scottish Government update today (Thursday).

Boys’ and girls’ schools and youth rugby will also be different for season 2020-21 and work is under way to finalise the fixture schedule and underlying competition rules.

Scottish Rugby anticipates returning to competitive rugby on Saturday, October 31 – but this is still only an indicative date and is subject to change, as public health information continues to be issued from the Scottish Government.

Subject to today’s Scottish Rugby aims to finalise all plans and share fixtures with clubs and schools no later than September 16.