Representatives from the men’s and women’s RBS Premierships and the RBS National League, RBS Championship A and RBS Championship B gathered at Murrayfield today to kick-off another year of domestic rugby, that starts this Saturday (24 August).
Season 2012/13 was considered as one of the most competitive years in recent times, with champions, in some cases, not decided until the very last blows of the whistle.
The clubs believe that such intense competition is only a good thing for improving the game throughout Scotland.
Centre Robbie Fergusson attended today on behalf of defending RBS Premiership champions, Ayr. He said: “Every year this competition is played the teams get stronger and the winning margins become tighter.
“We’ve had a good pre-season and we’re really looking forward to playing in the RBS Premiership again. The league brings with it a lot of excitement and fierce competition.”
Also, for newly promoted Glasgow Hawks, there is much anticipation being back in the top flight, with four British & Irish Cup places up for grabs.
Captain Ross Miller, said: “We’re pretty confident we can push for a place in next year’s British & Irish Cup. We have a few new additions in the squad including Ally Maclay who returns from Hong Kong. We also won our pre-season friendly match against Caldy who play in the English second division.
“However, we know how tough this league is going to be so we must not get ahead of ourselves. We need to play well week in week out to achieve our goals.”
In the women’s game, a six team top division is the perfect recipe for a closely-fought league. Defending champions Hilldhead/Jordanhill’s hooker, Lindsey Smith, said: “We’re really itching to get the first game of the season under our belt and begin our hunt to retain the double [RBS Premiership and Sarah Beaney Cup].
“We’ve had strong numbers during pre-season and a few new faces have come up into the senior team.”
This year Edinburgh side, Boroughmuir will play in the RBS National League. Their captain Andrew Rose, said: “There is a great buzz around the club, with a lot of new faces and a new coaching set-up, so hopefully we’ll bounce straight back up to the Premiership.”
Finally, one of Scottish Rugby’s professional referees, Andrew McMenemy, said: “I’m really looking forward to the new season. If it’s anything like last year we’ll have everyone beating everyone else and there will be some great games to referee.”