Scottish Rugby has today confirmed that its top four Premiership clubs will not take part in the 2014-15 British & Irish Cup.
The decision follows changes to the competition’s structure which would see six fixtures being played before Christmas.
According to a statement released by Scottish rugby, such changes would prevent Melrose, Gala, Ayr and Heriot’s from performing at their best in the B&I Cup as well as in the BT Premiership therefore “compromise the integrity of Scottish Rugby’s flagship club competition”.
Scottish Rugby’s director of rugby operations Colin Thomson, said: “In light of the changes to the British & Irish Cup competition structure our four qualified teams, Melrose, Gala, Ayr and Heriot’s will not participate in the 2014-15 competition.
“Discussions over the competition structure have been difficult and protracted and we have done everything in our power to try to influence a solution that would meet the needs of all participants.
“Regrettably this has not been achieved and the B& I Cup pool dates have been set for two blocks of three fixtures either side of the Autumn International window.
“Given this, we simply could not support six B&I cup games in the first half of the season as this would have a significant impact on the integrity of our own BT Premiership competition.
“Scottish Rugby will continue to work with its clubs to find suitable cross border opportunities.”
2014-15 British & Irish Cup structure
Semi-finals and final
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