Now the short, sharp semi-pro league is firmly embedded in the game, with two competitions staged in the season just ended.
John Fletcher, Scottish Rugby’s head of pathways and elite coach development, claims Super6 is the envy of other nations and while you wouldn’t expect him to say otherwise there is a sense that standards are being driven upwards.
“Super6 is not perfect, yet, but it’s not that far off in terms of its timing, quality competition, full-time coaches, coach development,” said Fletcher, who was appointed last November.
“There’s a lot of things should be celebrated in terms of Super6 because I actually think other unions look at us in envy in terms of the fact we have a competition and we have some flexibility around it, compared to other parts of the world, certainly in the northern hemisphere.”
Designed to bridge the gap between the amateur club game and the pro teams, Super6’s ultimate aim is to improve players, particularly the younger ones, with the national side being the ultimate beneficiaries.
Kenny Murray, who is in charge of the Scotland Under-20 side, thinks it is on the right track but would like to see more coaches put their faith in youth. Ben Cairns at Stirling County has gone down that route and was just pipped at the post for the Super6 Sprint title by Watsonians last week.
“Stirling County had more under-20s players than any other team in the competition and were a whisker away from winning the Sprint,” said Murray.
“What that is telling us, and what Ben is telling us, is that if you trust those guys then they will perform for you. How do you know they are not going to be good enough if you never give them an opportunity to play? And I think we need to get that mind-set across all of our coaches and across our rugby community.”
Murray certainly believes Super6 has raised standards. “When I watched the final last year between the Ayrshire Bulls and the Southern Knights, that was as close to pro rugby as I have ever seen in Scotland [in club rugby].”