Glasgow Warriors ‘A’, Edinburgh ‘A’ and a development team based on the Scotland Under-20s squad will all take part in this year’s revamped FOSROC Super Series, it was revealed yesterday.

The tournament, known since it began in 2019 as Super6, will still include the half-dozen part-time professional sides who have been members since its inception: Ayrshire Bulls, Boroughmuir Bears, Heriot’s, Southern Knights, Stirling Wolves and champions, Watsonians. But the new title will reflect the expanded format, which will see the ‘A’ sides take part in the Super Series Sprint competition that gets under way next month, and the development team compete in the larger Super Series Championship which follows in late July.

In the Sprint, the six teams will play each other once each – either home or away – as well as either Glasgow ‘A’ or Edinburgh ‘A’. The two pro-team selects will each play three games in the first half of the tournament and then drop out. Edinburgh will meet Heriot’s, the Knights and Watsonians, and the Warriors will play the Bulls, the Bears and the Wolves.

Rounds four to six will only involve the original six, and will be followed by one round of play-offs at the end of May, in which first will play second, third take on fourth, and fifth play sixth.

The Sprint will begin on Friday 7 April with the fixtures expected to be announced soon.

READ MORE: Still plenty to play for despite tough defeat, claims Stuart McInally

The Super Series Championship will have a regular-season format of 12 games for each of the teams, six home and six away. The fact that it is made up of seven sides will mean teams taking it in turn to have a rest weekend. At the end of the 12 games, the top four sides will progress to the play-offs – two semi-finals and a final.

According to an SRU press release, the development team “will be built upon the current and future Scotland U20 side”. The name under which it will compete has yet to be revealed.

The inclusion of the three new teams in the series has several related aims: to ensure more competitive matches for fringe members of the Edinburgh and Glasgow squads; to give Scotland Under-20 squad members or hopefuls more experience of competitive rugby; and, for those players in the six semi-pro sides, to provide a way of measuring themselves against fully professional opposition in the shape of the two ‘A’ teams.

SRU performance director Jim Mallinder said: “It’s a hugely exciting time for those involved in FOSROC Super Series rugby. With its expansion to include more teams and a different structure comes a time to reflect on how that gap between amateur and professional has been bridged in the last four years.

“Since 2019, 34 players who were registered with FOSROC Super6 teams have gone on to play professionally with either Glasgow Warriors or Edinburgh Rugby. In addition, 21 of those players have signed contracts with one of the two sides, with six earning full international caps for Scotland.

“Six former FOSROC Super6 head coaches – Pete Murchie, Pete Horne, Stevie Lawrie, Ciaran Beattie, Rob Chrystie and Fergus Pringle – and two assistant coaches – Scott Lawson and Chris Laidlaw – have moved into full-time professional performance coaching environments.

“We’re committed to providing more high-performance opportunities for those players striving to become regulars in Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors match-day squads. Another commitment we’re making is to provide a higher-level competition and increased time in high-performance environments for our U20 players to ensure that we are best preparing them for the ever-increasing demands of international rugby.”

Since the tournament’s inception as Super6 in 2019, the SRU have been keen to secure cross-border fixtures for their competing teams, with matches against Welsh clubs at one point appearing to be the most probable way of fulfilling that ambition. This year as in previous years, however, those fixtures have yet to materialise.

“Whilst there is not an opportunity to progress with a cross-border competition in this calendar year, Scottish Rugby remain in positive discussions with other Unions and have ambitions to add this element into future seasonal structures of the FOSROC Super Series,” the press release added.