The move comes as the SRU set up a 10-year strategy for a male performance pathway

The Scottish rugby pathway has been revamped with the return of the Scotland A team and the scrapping of the Super Series as the governing body target a place in the top five men’s teams in the world.

Scotland were ranked fifth heading into the 2023 Rugby World Cup. The team are now sixth, just behind fifth-place England. In a bid to keep them in the top teams, the Scottish Rugby Union announced their new plans for a male performance pathway.

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The SRU want to see professional A games and “expanded academies” to work with U23 players to give them more international playing time.

Home-grown players are also a focus for the governing body and a better relationship between “the domestic and professional game” are an important part of the new pathway.

A new Professional Game Agreement will be put in place to ensure there are a minimum amount of Scottish-qualified players in club squads.

However, the Super Series – a semi-pro league which bridges the gap from the national leagues and the URC sides Edinburgh and Glasgow – has been scrapped with the six clubs involved being told of the development on Wednesday.

The Club Rugby Board are now working to transition Ayrshire Bulls, Boroughmuir Bears, Heriot’s Rugby, Southern Knights, Stirling Wolves and Watsonians FC into domestic leagues. The board are working in consultation with the Premiership and National Clubs.

According the SRU, this transition will be based around:

  • As fair to as many clubs as possible
  • Least disruption to 10 team National league structures and regional leagues
  • No club to be seriously inconvenienced

The recruitment process for the new SRU performance director is ongoing. The new pathway is a part of a 10-year strategy to build an “aligned and sustainable” male pathway.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend said: “It’s clear that we must do better at creating more opportunities for our best young players to gain experiences and develop through playing rugby at a higher levels.

“The game is often the best teacher and we need to provide more games at pro-level and above for those in our U20 and Academy environments. Increasing the number of Pro Team A Games and reinstating Scotland A fixtures are two important pathways for achieving this.”

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