Scottish Rugby has today announced that the FOSROC Super6 will return next month under the new name of the FOSROC Super Series.
The new name for the part-time professional league signals a structural change with the addition of new teams into two competitions. Furthermore, title sponsor FOSROC will continue their support of the campaign this year.
These additions provide more high-performance focused environments for players and increases high-level performance game time opportunities for the current cohorts of professional players, and next generation of aspirant professional players and coaches, in Scotland.
The first competition of the year will be the FOSROC Super Series Sprint starting next month, followed by the FOSROC Super Series Championship starting in late summer.
The FOSROC Super Series Sprint will start on the weekend of Friday 7 April where all six teams will play each other once in a traditional league format, as well as playing either Glasgow Warriors A or Edinburgh Rugby A.
Having teams from both of Scotland’s professional sides involved in the FOSROC Super Series Sprint will provide an opportunity for the current six licence teams to test themselves against full-time professionals, supported by their respective FOSROC Scottish Rugby Contracted Academy players.
It will also provide a closer alignment for the FOSROC Super Series teams with their respective professional team and an opportunity for Super Series players to perform in front of pro-team coaches.
The professional A sides will play three fixtures at the start of the FOSROC Super Series Sprint. Edinburgh Rugby A will play against Heriot’s Rugby, Southern Knights and Watsonians whilst Glasgow Warriors A will play against Ayrshire Bulls, Boroughmuir Bears and Stirling Wolves.
After playing in the first three rounds of the competition the professional A teams step down to allow the pro-teams to continue to prioritise the business end of their season and provide opportunity to their players who have had high-level game time and are match-ready if required.
Following a reset period in June, the FOSROC Super Series Championship will kick-off in the last weekend of July following a consistent playing window that has proved successful for the last two years. The championship will be contested by seven teams; the six Super Series licence teams plus a development team side which will be built upon the current and future Scotland U20 side.
The development teamside has been added to the FOSROC Super Series Championship to better prepare Scotland’s young players for the challenges of U20 rugby and to help ensure our players can better compete, and improve performances, against higher quality opposition in the Under-20 Six Nations and World Rugby U20 competitions.
Jim Mallinder, Scottish Rugby’s Performance Director, 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.”
Watsonians Club President Richard Kelly is excited at the expansion “The club is delighted that the original Super6 format is evolving, and Super Series is an excellent platform to grow the concept further. We are excited about progressing with Scottish Rugby through the next chapter.”
Director of Rugby Chris Hunter added “We are all really excited to get back playing rugby again and the Super Series offers a fresh approach with the introduction of new teams.
All the coaches will have been busy recruiting and we expect the standard to reach a new level this year.”
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.
Constructive solutions company FOSROC have continued their support for the part-time professional league as title sponsor for the Super Series as a whole, the FOSROC Super Series Sprint and FOSROC Super Series Championship. They will also provide additional support to the development side in the FOSROC Super Series Championship later this year.
The partnership deepens an already strong relationship with FOSROC who have supported Super6 rugby since its inaugural season in 2019 and have supported the FOSROC Scottish Rugby Academy since 2018.
FOSROC’s Chief Executive Officer Ian Watt said: "FOSROC is excited to be continuing its support of the expanded Super Series competition.
“It is great to see how the competition has grown over the last four years, and now with the addition of Edinburgh Rugby A and Glasgow Warriors A sides in the FOSROC Super Series Sprint, and a development side in the FOSROC Super Series Championship, it complements our desire to support more young players in getting further opportunities to develop their skills, helping springboard them into professional rugby.
“Since 2019 it’s been fantastic to see six FOSROC Super6 players through come through Scottish Rugby’s pathways to earn full international honours.
“Jamie Hodgson, Marshall Sykes, Ross Thomson, Rory Darge, Ollie Smith and Murphy Walker have all graduated from the FOSROC Scottish Rugby Academy. Their rise to the international stage is testament to the success of the Academy, FOSROC Super6 and Scottish Rugby’s player pathway. We are thrilled to be continuing our support to the FOSORC Super Series.”
Fixtures for the for the FOSROC Super Series Sprint will be announced in the coming days and broadcasting details will be confirmed in due course.