Following on from the announcement of the Boys’ Schools and Youth season restructure commencing in the 2023/24 season, Scottish Rugby is pleased to confirm further details and Round 1 information for the National Schools and Youth Cup competitions.
The National Schools Cup will revert to a stand-alone structure, running alongside the Conference/League competitions, as it was before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Entry for competition was done through application process, with schools opting for the Cup or Plate based on their playing standard at each age group – U16 and U18.
Both the Cup and Plate contain secondary competitions - the Shield and Bowl respectively - to provide all teams at least two playing opportunities through the competitions.
The revised structure retains a multi-tiered approach which will deliver four finals at each age group. Subject to competition completion, the National Schools Finals will take place in early December 2023 (exact date and location TBC).
Looking at the National Youth Cup competitions, these games will also be played as a stand-alone structure, as opposed to qualification process. There are two entry points at each age group – National Youth Cup & National Youth Plate.
As with the Schools’ structure both, the Cup and Plate have secondary competitions, Shield and Bowl respectively. The Cup will be contested by the 12 clubs set to participate in the National Conferences, plus the four strongest clubs from the Borders (based on performances/results in 2022/23).
Entry to the Plate was open to all other clubs through an application process. The competition format differs to that of the Schools Cup, with the National Youth Cup competitions commencing with a Group Phase, followed by knock-out competition.
The key drivers for this structure are the increased opportunities for meaningful fixtures within National Cup competition, both in terms of number of teams involved and number of fixtures scheduled.
Fixtures will be played on designated Cup weekends in the autumn phase to provide continued alignment with Academy & National Age Grade programmes which are an important cornerstone in the second half of the season.
National Youth Cup Finals will also be played in December (date and venue TBC).
More information on the competition structures and Round 1 of each competition, can be found via the documents linked below.