The fixtures for each tier of the Scottish game has been published by Scottish Rugby as the sport makes steady progress to resume, in line with public health guidelines.
Following widespread Scottish Rugby Council consultation a regional model for competitions in the 2020/21 season was approved by the Scottish Rugby Board, to ensure some competitive rugby could be played in 2020/21. The regional approach aims to help mitigate against the challenges of local lockdowns for Covid-19 outbreaks, and also reduces both the need and distances travelled to matches for teams.
An indicative start date of 31 October is being worked towards as part of Stage 6 of the Return to Rugby Roadmap for the first round of the new regional competitions.
Space in the playing calendar has been added to allow for any delays to Return to Rugby Stages 5 and 6 being implemented in light of any potential public health guidelines from the Scottish Government. Scottish Rugby will only progress to Stage 5 and 6 if it is safe to do so and have been approved by the Scottish Government.
Scottish Rugby is delighted long-term sponsor Tennent’s continues its support which will once again see it putting its name and the Tennent’s Light brand against all the adult competitions across the male and female game.
Mitsubishi Motors will also resume its support to the Schools & Youth Conferences and discussions are on-going around the naming of the respective conferences in conjunction with the brand and its partners in the weeks ahead.
Advice to all grassroots clubs will be shared this week by Scottish Rugby to enable them to begin planning for friendly fixtures in preparation for the planned resumption of non-competitive matches on 19 October, with webinars also being planned to share advice on how to deliver safe matchdays.
The regionalised schedule of competitions and matches is intended to be in place solely for the 2020/21 season and a set of National Competition Rules will be issued in the coming weeks to outline the way the games will be overseen by Scottish Rugby, with a lighter touch and emphasis on flexibility around match fulfilment intended.
Scottish Rugby President, Ian Barr, said: “I am really pleased clubs can now see what the season ahead looks like and they can begin planning and looking forward to playing competitive matches again. I know a huge amount of work has gone into getting us to this point and I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to what was a complex and challenging process.
“Our hope is that teams can play as much rugby as possible in the circumstances and we encourage them to take a common sense approach to fulfilling fixtures and ensuring the sport can resume safely, at every level. I would also like to extend my thanks to Tennent’s and Mitsubishi Motors for their continued invaluable support.”
Director of Rugby Development, Sheila Begbie, said: “It is really pleasing to be able to share the fixture list for the 2020/21 season with all our clubs and schools today. It marks a very positive step and one that I know a great many people have contributed to across the game, and in our Rugby Development department, and for that I’d like to thank everyone involved.
“We are still taking a cautious approach and are committed to supporting the public health guidelines set out by the government. I wish all the teams the very best for the season ahead and hope we can have a safe and enjoyable return to rugby in the months to come.”
The fixtures can be found here and the full list will be added to the respective sections of the Scottish Rugby website in the coming weeks and linked to the SCRUMS database as in previous seasons.
Edinburgh-based Teams in Tennent’s Light National Competition 1
Currie Chieftains RFC 1XV
Edinburgh Academical FC 1XV
Heriot’s RFC 1XV
Musselburgh RFC 1XV
Watsonian FC 1XV
Edinburgh-based Teams in Tennent’s Light National Competition 2
Lasswade RFC 1XV
Preston Lodge RFC 1XV
Stewart’s Melville RFC 1XV
Edinburgh-based Teams in Tennent’s Light Women’s National Competition
Watsonian FC 1XV
Corstorphine RFC 1XV
Heriot’s Rugby 1XV
Broughton RFC 1XV