The SRU has received 12 applications from clubs to form franchises in the new part-time professional Super 6 league which is due to launch in the 2019/20 season.
After the deadline of 5pm Friday passed, the union announced that bids had been received from Ayr, Boroughmuir, Currie Chieftains, Dundee, Edinburgh Accies, Gala, Glasgow Hawks, Hawick, Heriot’s, Melrose, Stirling County and Watsonians.
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As expected, nine of the current BT Premiership clubs, with Marr the only exception, have submitted bids along with Dundee, Edinburgh Accies and Gala.
The new competition will see the SRU fund a head coach, support staff and half the player salary budget, with the clubs contributing the other 50 per cent, of the new franchises.
A one-month period of assessment and review meetings will now take place before the winning six bids are announced on 1 May,
The SRU revealed that the review panel will be independently chaired by the respected businessman and former Scotland internationalist Sir Bill Gammell.
The rest of the panel will be made up of SRU chief executive Mark Dodson, Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend, Sportscotland chief executive Stewart Harris, SRU director of finance Andrew Healy, SRU head of women and girls’ rugby Gemma Fay and SRU technical director Stephen Gemmell.
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Dodson said: “The level of interest and positivity around this crucial development for the top tier of Scotland’s club game has been remarkable and is reflected in the significant number of high quality applications we have received.
“It demonstrates what is possible when Scottish Rugby and its member clubs work together towards the common goal of improving the quality and infrastructure of the game in Scotland.
“Over the coming weeks we will be assessing each of the applications and continuing our dialogue with those interested parties to ensure we have the strongest possible foundations in place to begin Super 6 and the ongoing delivery of our Agenda 3 strategy [to restructure Scottish club rugby].”
The SRU statement to announce the applications concluded: “Details of how Scottish Rugby will unveil the successful applications on 1 May will be announced in due course.
“Scottish Rugby will not be commenting on individual applications while the review process is under way.”
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