In line with similar decisions taken by the Irish, Welsh and Italian rugby unions, the 2019/20 domestic rugby season in Scotland has been classified as null and void as of yesterday, the 31st March.
The decision follows the earlier interim suspension and then final closure of the season, based on Government advice in relation to the Covid-19 virus.
This now means there will be no automatic promotion/relegation, a decision reached following a “consultation” involving the participating clubs, the Championship and Competition Committee members and Scottish Rugby’s own Rugby Development Department.
Around half of clubs favoured the null and void option. The remaining clubs were split between the other four options. The second most favoured option – finishing the season based on the league positions at the time of shutdown – received the support of around a quarter of clubs.
Further to the club consultation, the declaration of a null and void season was recommended by the Convenor of the Championship Committee, the Reserve League Committee Chair and the Chair of the Women’s Competition Committee.
Scottish Rugby President Dee Bradbury said: “It was clear from the outset that, in terms of the consequential impact on the various leagues in terms of promotion/relegation there would be no “right” solution, particularly once it was clear that our preferred option of completing the season would no longer be possible.
“Every solution we looked at was likely to be problematic in some way – none was likely to be supported by everyone. It was therefore considered essential that the full range of options were explored, each potential option was sense checked and that, as far as possible, a broad consensus was reached across the game as to the most appropriate outcome.
“We fully accept some clubs will be disappointed with this decision and share their frustration that, for wider societal reasons beyond our control, their hard work to push for success this season hasn’t yielded the rewards they deserve.”
In pro rugby the PRO14 final has also been cancelled as an event, although the season itself is currently postponed and could in theory be resumed there is no word if that situation will be made final. Scotland’s summer tour is still officially on, but again that looks increasingly unlikely to take place.