SUPER6 could expand to Super8 as early as next season, with London Scottish claiming they have already received an informal offer to join and expanded league. The other new team is apparently to be based in Glasgow. 

Scottish Rugby insist that no concrete plan has been agreed but acknowledged that fairly advanced talks have taken place with London Scottish, who currently play in the second-tier English Championship but are eager for a change of direction following a cut in RFU funding. 

Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson has made no secret of his desire to grow the league, and he is keen to establish a sporting and commercial base in London. It is understood that Malcolm Offord – who recently resigned as a Board member of both London Scottish and Scottish Rugby after being made Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland – has been central to negotiations. 

"The Super6 is proving to be a successful competition in Scotland and the Clubs just voted to expand it at the recent AGM and the SRU Board and Council have approved the Executive strategy to expand the tournament to eight teams in season 22-23," said a letter sent to the club’s membership and supporters by the London Scottish Executive Committee and Board yesterday. 

"The SRU wish these two teams to be based in Glasgow and London, therefore London Scottish has been invited to join Super8 in season 22-23. Preliminary discussions between SRU and RFU CEOs indicate that 'the RFU cannot think of any reason why they would stop London Scottish playing in Super8 so long as the amateur club remains rooted in the London community'. This would allow London Scottish to return to our roots as providing a player pathway for Scottish Qualified Players born or living in England to play rugby for Scotland

"At this stage the SRU have provisionally offered London Scottish a place in the new look Super8, which will be formally ratified, hopefully by the end of December. From our understanding the initial ‘franchise’ will be for a period of 3 years, with the potential for the format to be expanded to the Super10.  

“The final details are still being discussed but from what we understand there will be a salary cap (adjusted for LS to take into account London weighting) and which is within our current budget structure. The SRU have offered to pay for all associated travel expenses for all teams involved. 

"The current requirement for the Super8 is that 75% of the squad be Scottish qualified – but we expect that initially, we will receive some sort of dispensation in order to facilitate our transition to this requirement. However, we believe by having a clearly defined pathway for Anglo Scottish qualified players – this will provide an attractive proposition of young players who have aspiration to be seen and watched by senior Scottish coaches." 

It is not clear how the Glasgow franchise will be run. Glasgow Hawks and GHA – the two current Premiership clubs in the city – are among the most vocal opponents of the league, and it would require a dramatic volte-face for them to be involved. If they do refuse to engage, then it will have to be one or a collaboration of lower league clubs who step up to the plate, or a Scottish Rugby run enterprise.

Meanwhile, Ayr rugby club have unveiled ambitious plans to upgrade their Millbrae home and to purchase nearby Dam Park from their local council using the £3m legacy they have been given by the family of Barry MacDonald, a former player, who died suddenly, aged 54, in December 2020. 

All going well, the project will be completed by the summer of 2024.