Men’s Cup competition update

Men’s Cup competition update

Today (Friday 18 February) Scottish Rugby's competitions team have provided three post-league competition options for the Men's Cup competition.

Due to the nature of covid-19 and adverse weather conditions, some of the competitions within the Men’s Tennent’s league structure will now not be completed until late-April and into May.

As such, a Cup competition cannot be delivered under its traditional format, but there is scope for a competition in an alternative format to be delivered.

Three options have now been presented in a survey to Men’s teams via their Club President and Secretary to support the decision making process on this season’s Cup competition.

These options are:

– Premiership Cup competition
– Intra-district competition
– No Cup competition

Clubs are asked to respond to the survey by Sunday 27 February.

What does the landscape of the Men’s Tennent’s leagues currently look like?

As of February 14, all Tennent’s Premiership league fixtures (excluding play-offs) are on track to be fulfilled by 12 March.

Currently Tennent’s National League Division 1 and National League Division 2 are scheduled to fulfil all their league fixtures by 23 April.

The Tennent’s National League Division 3 league is scheduled to conclude by 9 April.

With so few weekends available before the scheduled Cup Finals Day event (Silver Saturday, May 14), and accounting for 36 teams from the three National Division leagues, it has been deemed that there is no scope to design a competition format.

The Regional and Reserve Leagues are all at different stages in their respective competitions with some anticipated to be fulfilled in March, whilst others have a scheduled finish date in April and May. There is therefore no scope to design a competition format.

Where teams wish to continue playing fixtures once all league fixtures have been fulfilled, the Rugby Development department can support clubs organise friendly fixtures with other teams should this be required.

Option 1: Premiership Cup competition

With the Premiership on track for completion by 12 March, this leaves nine weekends remaining before the date scheduled for Silver Saturday (Men and Women’s cup competition finals day) on 14 May, and 10 weekends before the official end of 2021/22 season (22 May).

Therefore, there is scope for the 10 Premiership teams to participate in a ‘Premiership Cup’ competition whilst taking account of the play-off fixtures (scheduled for 26 March and 02 April). The assumption is that there is no further delay the fulfilment of any remaining fixtures*.

Competition format

– 10 teams divided into two pools of five teams, the top four teams from the Premiership seeded into each pool with the remaining teams drawn randomly.
– Teams in each pool play each other on a home or away basis.
– Winners of each pool progress to the Final at BT Murrayfield on 14 May.

​Option 2: Intra-district competition (A or B Format)

This option would see players selected to represent their ‘region of origin’ in an intra-district competition finishing with a competition final hosted by Scottish Rugby at BT Murrayfield. Players would be selected by a management team within each region comprising of club representatives.

Format A

The 4 traditional ‘district’ regions create A and B teams on a ‘region of origin’ basis: Glasgow & The West, Caledonia, Edinburgh, The South.

– Teams play each other on a home or away basis.
– Winners of each fixture progress to a Regional Representative Final and the Runners Up progress to a Regional Representative Runners Up fixture at BT Murrayfield on 14 May 2022.

Format B

The 4 traditional ‘district’ regions create A and B teams on a ‘region of origin’ basis: Glasgow & The West, Caledonia, Edinburgh, The South.

– Teams play each other on a home or away basis (Two competitions – A team competition and B team competition).
– Top two teams from each competition (A & B) progress to a finals day at BT Murrayfield on 14 May 2022 playing in a A v B final.

Option 3: No post-league competition

The final option is for there to be no Men’s Cup competition in any format.

The benefit in not offering a post-league competition would be that clubs can organise their own fixtures subject to other prior commitments (eg. Seven’s events) and can adjust their fixtures programme according to the players they have available.

Counter to that there is a risk clubs may decide that the season has been already difficult to navigate given the additional pressures Covid-19 has presented and choose not to arrange any additional friendly fixtures.

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