Scottish Rugby Welcomes British & Irish Cup
Scottish Rugby has welcomed today’s announcement of the launch of a new cross-border competition next season, the British & Irish Cup.Some 24 teams from the four home unions will participate in the new event playing in four pools of six, most probably over the weekends of the Autumn Tests and the RBS 6 Nations Championship. Scotland will have three teams in the Cup – two drawn from the Scottish Hydro Electric Premiership Division 1 and the third drawn from fringe players in the Edinburgh and Glasgow professional teams, alongside members of Scottish Rugby’s National Academy.All 12 Scottish Hydro Electric Premiership Division 1 clubs have given their backing to the competition and, following discussions, have determined that the two places for Scottish club sides will be taken by clubs finishing first and second in the division.Ayr, Scotland’s champion club, will thus join the inaugural competition. Their coach, Kenny Murray, said: “There’s been a lot of talk at Ayr about this over the last couple of weeks. It’s a great opportunity for the club, players, coaches and committee to compare and contrast themselves against the other clubs involved from other countries in all aspects of the game, on and off the pitch and that, for me, is the crux of the whole initiative.”The second place is still to be finalised. Boroughmuir currently lie in second place in the league table but Heriot’s, in third place, have one game in hand and should they take one point from that fixture – against Edinburgh Academicals next Tuesday (12 May) at Lasswade, kick-off 7.30pm – then they would become runners-up.Stephen Gemmell, Scottish Rugby’s National Academy Manager, said: “Scottish Rugby welcomes the launch of the British & Irish Cup. This competition will give some of our best players, including those from our top two clubs in Scottish Hydro Electric Premiership Division 1, an opportunity to test themselves in an intense environment against quality, battle-hardened opposition from throughout the British Isles.”We all believe such a competition will serve as a real boost to our game.