Expanded Premiership announced as Scottish rugby gears up for life after Super Series

Watsonians and Melrose move into top flight after decisions made on domestic game
Watsonians will be in the Premiership following the changes.Watsonians will be in the Premiership following the changes.
Watsonians will be in the Premiership following the changes.

An expanded men’s 12-team Premiership will be in place for the start of next season following the disbanding of Super Series part-time professional rugby.

That is the decision Scottish Rugby’s Club Rugby Board (CRB) came to on Wednesday evening after a meeting to discuss how to re-integrate the Super Series teams and their players. For the forthcoming ‘transition’ season in 2024/25, Watsonians and Melrose will move into the Premiership and Boroughmuir and Stirling County will move to National One.

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Watsonians ‘club’ first XV has been playing in National One this season along with Melrose while Stirling County’s ‘club’ first XV has been in National Two and Boroughmuir in National Three. Heriot's already have a team in the Premiership, while Ayr have won National One this term, so would have been going up anyway.

It all means that Hawick, Marr, Currie Chieftains, Kelso, Heriot’s, Edinburgh Accies, Musselburgh, Selkirk, Glasgow Hawks, Ayr, Watsonians and Melrose will be in the top flight next term. And Highland, GHA, Glasgow Accies, Biggar, Gala and Dundee Rugby will be joined in a 10-team National One by relegated Jed-Forest, Stirling County, Boroughmuir and the to be confirmed National Two champions.

Further consultation is to take place with clubs with teams in National Two and Three to discuss the implications of creating nine team leagues next season while National Four will have 10 teams. In the following season 2025/26, the Premiership and all National Leagues will all return to 10-team competitions, meaning changes next year regarding relegation with three going down from the Premiership and National, One for example.

Scottish Rugby’s director of rugby development Gav Scott said: “We were always mindful there will some disruption for this transition season on clubs somewhere within the league structure, however, we now have clarity on the way forward. We’ve been encouraged by the level of engagement and collaboration. The clubs have helped to ensure there was a wide range of views informing the CRB to make its decision.”

During the consultation process there was a groundswell of opinion to stop player payments in the Premiership and the CRB has initiated a review and will report back.