Scottish Rugby has today confirmed all national and regional league fixtures for the forthcoming season.
Perhaps the most interesting element of today’s unveil is that the top-flight BT Premiership will introduce a Celtic league style play-off at the climax of the season.
The format will be exactly that of the professional competition, with the top two teams in the league on Saturday 14 March 2015 earning a home semi-final against the two teams finishing in third and fourth place. The highest seeded winner from the semi-finals will then become the host of the final where the inaugural BT Premiership league champions will be decided.
Scottish Rugby’s head of club services, Nick Rennie, said: “Following the decision to withdraw Scottish teams from the British & Irish Cup the Premiership clubs made it a priority to ensure that the added dimension of teams competing for a place in the top four of the top-flight division remained. Looking at the professional game and the success of its play-off model they were keen to implement something similar and I’m sure this scenario will add a great deal of extra excitement as the league draws to a close in March.
“All the best to every team competing in the BT Premiership and all the BT national and regional leagues in the coming year.”
Melrose will open their new season’s campaign at home, at The Greenyards, on Saturday 30 August against capital side, Edinburgh Accies, Cup champions Heriot’s will also be at home, Goldenacre, and will take on Glasgow Hawks.
For newly promoted Boroughmuir, they will mark their return to the top division against Stirling County at Meggetland. Elsewhere, Currie welcome Hawick to Malleny Park and Gala travel to Millbrae to play Ayr.
The first round (Saturday 6 September) of BT National League 1 features a number of mouth-watering clashes for Scottish rugby fans to sink their teeth into, including local derbies between close rivals Biggar and Selkirk. This is sure to be an interesting tie, as Biggar will want the best possible start to their new campaign after finishing bottom of their league last year. Also, Kelso finished one spot above seventh placed Peebles last season and the men from the Gytes will want to exact their revenge in the season opener.
Arguably one of the biggest clashes of the season will take place on the Saturday 8 November at Myreside when Watsonians host Stewart’s Melville FP in a capital derby (image from 2013-14 season).
Along with these fixtures came the BT National League 2 ties for the 2014-15 season.
Howe of Fife, who just missed out on promotion last season, will be looking to make an impact with a win over high flying Hamilton in their first game of the campaign (Saturday 8 September) at Laigh Bent, whilst newcomers, Musselburgh, make the journey to Glasgow to try and knock Cartha Queens Park off their perch after they finished second in last season’s standings.
Finally, the fixture list for the 2014-15 BT National League 3 has been announced, where newly promoted Preston Lodge, Irvine and Perthshire have their chance to set out their stalls in national competition having been promoted from their respective regional leagues.
On the first day (Saturday 6 September) Preston Lodge and Irvine meet at Pennypit, while Perthshire travel to Hawthornden to play Lasswade.
For the full list of fixtures for the 2014-15 BT leagues, please visit www.scottishrugby.org/clubs-schools/forms-downloads.