British And Irish Cup Takes Off In Scotland

British And Irish Cup Takes Off In Scotland

Playing representatives from the three Scottish teams (Ayr, Gael Force and Heriot’s) entering the inaugural British and Irish Cup gathered at Murrayfield today for the competition’s Scottish launch and to kick-start their drive for local support.The British and Irish Cup is the only opportunity to see cross-border club rugby in November and the players were quick to call on rugby fans from across their rugby regions to back the teams as they take on the English Championship and back-up Magners League sides, including league champions Munster and Heineken Cup champions Leinster.National Academy and Heriot’s flanker, Chris Fusaro, said: “With both pro teams off for the whole of November it’s a great opportunity for the Edinburgh rugby community to get together at Goldenacre to support Heriot’s in their first game against Nottingham (Saturday 21 November, kick-off 2pm).”For the majority of the players, the British and Irish Cup is going to be a step up and I think they’ll definitely benefit from it. A big home support is really important as the players can feed off that and put in a good performance.”Ayr lock, Damien Kelly, echoed Fusaro’s sentiment: “The Ayr support is fantastic but the British and Irish Cup presents a great opportunity to introduce new people to Millbrae. It’s important that we get a good crowd to help spur us on in this very competitive competition.”We’re representing club rugby in the west of Scotland so hopefully the greater Glasgow rugby community and the Glasgow Warriors supporters will come out in force to cheer us on. “We’re fully aware of the challenge ahead and that the teams we’re playing are full-time pro but we’ll be giving it our best and at home I think we’ll get a good lift from the crowd – which is why it’s so important that we get good numbers down.”Both Ayr and Heriot’s qualified for the competition by finishing first and second in Scottish Hydro Premier One while Gael Force is a National Academy XV bolstered by players made available by Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors.Last night Gael Force overcame Ayr’s Pool D English Championship opponents, Doncaster Knights (19-20), at Castle Park as they upped preparations for the Cup.Wing / full-back, Tom Bury, said: “I think the result shows Gael Force can be serious contenders in this competition and I think it shows the strength of the teams that Gael Force are going to be able to put out.”Anyone coming down to Bridgehaugh to watch Gael Force will certainly see some good running rugby with lots of offloading – that’s our strength and that’s how we want to play.”Heriot’s are first to host British and Irish Cup opposition when they take on Nottingham at Goldenacre on Saturday 21 November (kick-off 2pm) while Ayr welcome Rotherham Titans to Millbrae the following week (Friday 27 November, kick-off 8pm).Gael Force play three successive fixtures on the road before returning for back-to-back home fixtures at Bridgehaugh in February.SCOTTISH POOLSPOOL APOOL BPOOL CPOOL D Cornish PiratesExeter ChiefsGael ForceLeinsterNewportPlymouth AlbionBristol RugbyCoventryHeriot’sMunsterNeathNottinghamAberavonBedfordLlanelliLondon WelshMosleyUlsterAyrBirmingham & SolihullCardiffDoncaster KnightsPontypriddRotherham Titans SCOTTISH TEAM’S FULL POOL FIXTURE LIST FOR THE BRITISH & IRISH CUP- AYR – Sunday 22 November – Doncaster Knights v Ayr, Castle Park (kick-off 2pm)Friday 27 November – Ayr v Rotherham Titans, Millbrae (kick-off 8pm)Saturday 13 February- Ayr v Birmingham & Solihull, Milbrae (kick-off 4pm)Saturday 27 February – Ayr v Pontypridd, Millbrae (kick-off 3pm)Saturday 6 March – Cardiff v Ayr, Cardiff Arms Park (kick-off 2.30pm)- GAEL FORCE -Sunday 22 November: Cornish Pirates v Gael Force, Recreation Ground, Camborne (kick-off 2pm)Saturday 28 November: Exeter Chiefs v Gael Force, Sandy Park Stadium, Exeter (kick-off 3pm)Friday 12 February: Newport v Gael Force, Rodney Parade, Newport (kick-off 7.30pm)Friday 26 February: Gael Force v Plymouth Albion, Bridgehaugh, Stirling (kick-off 7pm)Wednesday 10 March: Gael Force v Leinster, Bridgehaugh, Stirling (kick-off 7pm)- HERIOT’S -Saturday 21 November – Heriot’s v Nottingham, Goldenacre (kick-off 2pm)Friday 27 November – Coventry v Heriot’s, Butts Park Arena (kick-off 7.45pm)Sunday 14 February – Heriot’s v Neath, Goldenacre (kick-off 2pm)Sunday 28 February – Bristol Rugby v Heriot’s, Memorial Stadium (kick-off 3pm)Saturday 6 March – Munster v Heriot’s (tbc, kick-off tbc)CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE BRITISH AND IRISH CUP FIXTURES

Spread the word

Newsletter Sign-up

Sign-up for our newsletter today to receive the latest updates, content and releases from Scottish Rugby.


Principal Partners