Super6 fixtures to be broadcast by BBC Scotland
Scottish Rugby’s new top tier of the domestic game, Super6, will have its opening season broadcast live simultaneously on both the BBC Sport Scotland website and Scottish Rugby TV.
Super6 will have one televised live game from each round of fixtures, which have been published today, broadcast by Scottish Rugby TV and available live on the BBC Sport Scotland website, with the feature live matches played at 2pm on the Sunday of each round weekend.
The final of Super6 will be televised live on BBC Scotland over the weekend of 27-29 March 2020.
Scottish Rugby has commissioned specialist sport production company, QTV, to produce its broadcast of Super6 which will have pitchside presentation and expert analysis at the weekend’s live game.
Scottish Rugby itself has attracted 1.8m viewers from 170 countries around the world.
The BBC Sport Scotland website averages 2.5million views a week with regular peaks of over 3 million.
Every Super6 team will have at least three live broadcast matches, with highlights from all the other fixtures of each tournament round available online at scottishrugby.org.
Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson said: “Super6 is a bold new competition that is designed to bridge the gap between the domestic and the professional game in Scotland. It will feature the best semi-professional players and so I’m delighted our long-term partners BBC Sport have agreed to provide live coverage of Super6 throughout its opening season.
“This, coupled with the Scottish Rugby TV coverage, will showcase the high quality matches we are anticipating and enable clubs to really leverage their commercial and sponsorship opportunities knowing the games will be available to a local and international audience.”
Grigor Stirling, Commissioning Executive, Sport, BBC Scotland, said: “It’s great news for our audiences that we’ll be bringing regular live coverage of Super6 during its inaugural season. It’s an exciting addition to the game in this country and we’re delighted we’ll be showing matches on the BBC Scotland sport site, with the added bonus of broadcasting the final live on the BBC Scotland channel.”
The new tournament will be contested by six teams with half the sides revealing new names to mark their participation in the competition and to differentiate from their other teams competing in different respective Scottish Leagues.
Double winners from the 2018/19 season Ayr will compete in Super6 as the Ayrshire Bulls, Melrose’s team will play as the Southern Knights and the Boroughmuir Bears will represent the Meggetland club.
Heriot’s, Stirling County and Watsonians will continue to play under their existing club names.
On the opening weekend of Super6 the Ayrshire Bulls will play a repeat of the 2019 Scottish Cup Final, which was decided with the final kick of the match, as they take on Heriot’s at Millbrae in the first live broadcast match on Sunday 10 November.
Boroughmuir Bears will start their Super6 campaign at home as they face Stirling County at Meggetland.
The Southern Knights – the name chosen by Melrose RFC for its Super6 team – will take on Watsonians in the opening round.
The opening Super6 season will run from November 2019 to March 2020, with the final league rounds all being played on Sunday 1 March, to confirm the play-off matches, scheduled for 20-22 March.
The finals of Super6 will be played at neutral venue on the weekend of 27-29 March 2020.
Provision for weather affected matches has also been built into the calendar with two standby weekends available either side of the New Year and games will not be played over the Christmas and Six Nation periods.
Super6 teams will contest a cross-border competition with respective teams from the Indigo Group Premiership in Wales following the Scottish competition’s conclusion.
Teams will play home and away fixtures against their Welsh opponents starting in mid-April 2020.
Scottish Rugby’s Technical Director Stephen Gemmell said: “Announcing the fixture calendar today is a big day for Super6 and will enable clubs to put the finishing touches to their planning for the inaugural season ahead.
“It is clear from the fixtures that every weekend will be exciting for all involved and as a result we expect the standard to rise over the duration of the tournament.
“Bringing in live broadcast coverage adds another professional element to Super6 and will give the teams and the players a great shop window to promote themselves and the tournament.”
Super6 team reaction to the broadcast coverage and fixtures for the new season
Head Coach at Ayrshire Bulls, Peter Murchie:
“We are really looking forward to kicking off the new Super6 season, preparations on the pitch are getting started and there is an excitement amongst the players about the new competition.
“I think what is unique about this tournament is that there are ten stand out fixtures, they should all be highly competitive and exciting games.
“It, [live broadcast coverage], is a massive opportunity for both the clubs and the players. It will really help drive the exposure of both and it certainly raises the profile for the competition.”
Head Coach at Southern Knights, Rob Chystie:
“We the Southern Knights are extremely excited about getting started. There has been a lot of planning and organising around the competition but ultimately it is the rugby that is most important. Our players and management are determined to prepare well throughout the preseason to enable us to play an exciting and entertaining brand of rugby.
“There is a little bit of unknown as all Super6 Teams are keeping their cards close to their chests but that adds to the intrigue! I don’t believe it would be wise to highlight any fixtures above any other, however I am sure all our squad will be working extremely hard to earn their place in the first ever Southern Knights game at the Greenyards against Watsonians.
“Live [broadcast] games will clearly open up opportunities for the club off the park. However, for me this is about the players and creating opportunities for them to showcase their skills and ability to play rugby. There is always a raised intensity when players know games are being watched by a larger crowd and players in this area have experience of this when participating in the Melrose 7s.”
Boroughmuir Bears Head Coach Graham Shiel:
“Both exciting and scary. It’s been a long time with many months of work to get to this stage, we’ve recruited and trained well but you never really know what level you are at and what you are capable off until you compete against the best club players around.
“Our expectations are high, we’re proud to be involved and we are looking forward to what will be an exciting and competitive league.
“We are looking forward to all our fixtures, however we are particularly excited with our back to back local derby games against Watsonians in December with the aggregate winner retaining the Allan McNish trophy – a trophy both clubs play for annually in memory of that great Watsonian Allan McNish a regular Edinburgh player who played alongside Boroughmuir’s first cap Ken Ross in the back row. The second leg is at home which gives us a wee advantage.
“Our games being available live are huge opportunity for us. It will create a buzz on the day and give us the opportunity to show off our attractive style of play to a bigger audience. We also believe it will help increase grassroots take up of rugby.
“Our Youth Academy is supporting 3 secondary schools and 13 primary schools and having club games televised can only help inspire their ambition to play into senior levels and achieve their potential. Televising will also showcase Meggetland as a fantastic multi-sports facility used by many local community clubs.”
Watsonians Head Coach Fergus Pringle:
“Our focus will be on the first game. We’ll play Melrose (now the Southern Knights) down at the Greenyards on their new pitch, so I’m sure it will be an exciting occasion for both clubs to be involved in. It’s a tough game first up, but one both sets of players will be right up for.
“I think having the games shown live will help to create a bit of a buzz around Super6 and generate profile for the competition. There is already a lot of interest out there in Super6, so it gives people the opportunity to see what it's about and it gives all the teams involved more exposure through the televised games.
Head Coach from Stirling County, Ben Cairns:
“I am really excited about the competition commencing. There’s obviously been a lot of work involved behind the scenes and it will be great to get the rugby underway.
“We are obviously looking forward to all the fixtures and especially our home games. Whilst, our first home match versus the Southern Knights on 16 November should be a great day for the club.
“It’s great to have Super6 fixtures being shown live. It will allow our supporters all over the world to tune in and keep up to date with how we are tracking.
“We are hopeful it will also expand the reach of our games to a new audience and hopefully they will like what they see, and we can pick up some new supporters.”
Heriot’s Director of Rugby, Neil Meikle:
“We are hugely excited about Super6 getting underway. We have assembled a good squad and there is a real buzz around Goldenacre as we enter into the first year of the competition. We are looking forward to unleashing our exciting brand of rugby.
“Ayr first up will be a fantastic match if our games last season are anything to go by. Of course, the derby against Watsonians is always a grudge match so it will hopefully pull in a big crowd.
“We are looking to attract a new type of supporter to Super6 rugby so raising the profile through live coverage is a great way to do that.”