New Cup Structure Boosts Club Rugby Resurgence

While Scotland, currently ranked seventh in the world, march towards the Autumn Tests this November, clubs across Scotland will begin their own journey to the national stadium as the Scottish Cup, Shield and Bowl competitions kick-off across the country.

The competition has retained its three-tier format however, this season, pool stages have been introduced to the Premier Cup for the first time. The competing 36 teams from Premier 1, 2 and 3 have been drawn in nine pools of four, with each team seeded according to the previous season’s performance in league competition.

 

Ayr won last season's Scottish Cup 

The top seven winners of the pools will go directly into the Cup quarter-finals while the bottom two winners will play off for eighth place, with the eight teams progressing to the knockout stages.

Scottish Rugby’s head of community rugby, Colin Thomson, added: “League competition is our priority so, as part of this season’s restructure, we began by allocating the best playing windows available to the league. However, we recognised that we also need to improve the excitement of our cup competitions.

“The restructure means that all Premier teams will play a minimum of three cup games allowing Premier 2 and Premier 3 clubs to pit themselves against higher placed opposition.”

All three competitions move into a national knockout stage in March before they all come to a head on Cup Finals day at Murrayfield on Saturday 16 April.

Last season Ayr lifted the Premier Cup at the home of Scottish Rugby in front of around a 6000 crowd and a west stand bedecked in pink and black.

Club president, William McHarg, said: “The cup final was a huge occasion for the club. I think the players got a bit of a culture shock on the day as many of them had never experienced an occasion like that – it really brought home what it means to play at Murrayfield.

“Getting to the cup final again is certainly one of the club’s priorities for the coming season.”


2010/11 SCOTTISH RUGBY PREMIER CUP – POOL STAGES
Pool A: Currie, Aberdeen Grammar, Howe of Fife, Hamilton
Pool B: Ayr, GHA, Dunfermline, Perthshire
Pool C: Melrose, Biggar, Haddington, Ardrossan
Pool D: Dundee, Gala, Falkirk, Musselburgh
Pool E: Heriot’s, Stewart’s Melville, Hillhead/Jordanhill, Cartha
Pool F: Glasgow Hawks, Edinburgh Accies, Jed-Forest, Dumfries
Pool G: Selkirk, Hawick, Kelso, Morgan Academy
Pool H: Boroughmuir, StirlingCounty, Peebles, Dalziel
Pool I: West of Scotland, Watsonians, Kirkcaldy, Whitecraigs
* Top seven pool winners proceed to quarter-finals
* Eighth and ninth-placed pool winners play off to progress
 
Cup Round 1 – Saturday 6 November (kick-off 2pm)
Pool A: Hamilton v Currie, Aberdeen Grammar v Howe of Fife
Pool B: Perthshire v Ayr, GHA v Dunfermline
Pool C: Ardrossan v Melrose, Biggar v Haddington
Pool D: Musselburgh v Dundee, Gala v Falkirk
Pool E: Cartha v Heriot’s, Stewart’s Melville v Hillhead/Jordanhill
Pool F: Dumfries v Glasgow Hawks,Edinburgh Academicals v Jed-Forest
Pool G: Morgan Academy v Selkirk, Hawick v Kelso
Pool H: Dalziel v Boroughmuir, StirlingCounty v Peebles
Pool I: Whitecraigs v West of Scotland, Watsonians v Kirkcaldy
 
Premier Cup play off – Saturday 26 February (kick-off 3pm)
Premier Cup quarter-finals (drawn) – Saturday 19 March (kick-off 3pm)
Premier Cup semi-finals (drawn) – Saturday 26 March (kick-off 3pm)
CUP FINALS DAY – SATURDAY 16 APRIL, MURRAYFIELD STADIUM


2010/11 SCOTTISH RUGBY NATIONAL SHIELD
* This competition is run regionally until the quarter-final when it goes national
 
PRELIMINARY ROUND DRAW – Saturday 13 November (kick-off 1.30pm)
Lasswade v RHC Cougars
Gordonians v Garnock
Forrester FP v Stewartry
 
ROUND 1 – Saturday 8 January (kick-off 1.30pm)
Caithness v Aberdeenshire
Livingston v Linlithgow
(Lasswade or RHC Cougars) v Marr
(Gordonians or Garnock) v Ellon
Cumbernauld v Kilmarnock
(Forrester or Stewartry) v Annan
Glasgow Academicals v Newton Stewart
Helensburgh v Hawick Linden
GHK v Preston Lodge
Waysiders Drumpellier v Edinburgh University
Berwick v Allan Glen’s
Irvinev Hawick YM
Cambuslang v Highland
Murrayfield Wanderers v Greenock Wanderers
Ross High v North Berwick
East Kilbridev Orkney
* Langholm has not entered this season
 
National Shield quarter-finals – Saturday 12 March (3pm)
National Shield semi-finals – Saturday 26 March (3pm)
CUP FINALS DAY– SATURDAY 16 APRIL, MURRAYFIELD STADIUM


2010/11 SCOTTISH RUGBY REGIONAL BOWL
 
CALEDONIA REGION – MIDLANDS
PRELIMINARY ROUND – Saturday 6 November (kick-off 1.30pm)
Montrose v Fife Southern
Stobswell v Blairgowrie
Atholl v Carnoustie
Bannockburn v Crieff & Strathearn
Panmure v Kinross
Byes – Alloa, Arbroath, Glenrothes, Grangemouth, Harris Academy FP, Hillfoots, Madras Saints, St Andrews University, Stirling University, Strathmore, Waid Academy FP.
 
CALEDONIA REGION – NORTH
PRELIMINARY ROUND – Saturday 6 November (kick-off 1.30pm)
Inverness Craig Dunain v Moray
Dyce v Huntly
Byes – Aberdeen University, Aberdeen Wanderers, Banff, Deeside, Garioch, Lochaber, Mackie Academy Peterhead, RAF Kinloss, RAF Lossiemouth, Ross Sutherland, Shetland, Stornoway, Strathspey,
 
Regional Bowl quarter-finals
– Saturday 12 March (kick-off 3pm)
Regional Bowl semi-finals – Saturday 26 March (kick-off 3pm)
CUP FINALS DAY – SATURDAY 16 APRIL, MURRAYFIELD STADIUM
 
EAST REGION
PRELIMINARY ROUND – Saturday 13 November (kick-off 1.30pm)
Edinburgh Northern v Lismore
Dunbar v Portobello FP
Gala YM v Liberton
Inverleith v Duns
Byes – Broughton FP, Earlston, Hawick Harlequins, Leith, Moray House, Penicuik, Queensferry, RDVC, St Boswells, Trinity Academicals, Walkerburn.
 
Regional Bowl quarter-finals – Saturday 12 March (kick-off 3pm)
Regional Bowl semi-finals – Saturday 26 March (kick-off 3pm)
CUP FINALS DAY– SATURDAY 16 APRIL, MURRAYFIELD STADIUM
 
WEST REGION
ROUND 2 – Saturday 27 November (kick-off 12 noon)
Lenzie v Clydesdale
Strathendrick v Strathaven
Oban Lorne v Lanark
Uddingston v Wigtownshire
 
Regional Bowl quarter-finals
– Saturday 12 March (kick-off 3pm)
Regional Bowl semi-finals – Saturday 26 March (kick-off 3pm)
CUP FINALS DAY – SATURDAY 16 APRIL, MURRAYFIELD STADIUM