Ayrshire Bulls will start the defence of their FOSROC Super6 crown at home to Boroughmuir Bears on Friday 15th April, under the lights at Millbrae.

The Scottish Rugby Union have confirmed that the Super6 Sprint Series will start with Round 1 on 15th April and conclude with Round 5 on Saturday 21st May.

In addition, every Friday night game in the Sprint Series will be broadcast live on television by broadcast partner FreeSports and both Saturday games will be available on the BBC Sport website, BBC iPlayer and the Scottish Rugby website.

FreeSports will also make each Friday night fixture available to view on their FreeSports Player within the UK and Ireland, those out with those territories will be able to watch the games on the Scottish Rugby website.

They first partnered with Scottish Rugby last summer to deliver every Sunday fixture and the grand final in the 2021 FOSROC Super6 and are the only free-to-air sports channel in the UK and Ireland. Formed in 2017, FreeSports are the sister channel of Premier Sports who broadcast the United Rugby Championship and French Rugby’s Top 14 competitions.

The broadcasting of the tournament will be produced by Glasgow-based production company QTV who were integral to the broadcasting of the inaugural FOSROC Super6 tournament in 2019.

Bringing the action to life will be the experienced commentary team of Stuart McFarlane, Paul Mitchell, Hugh Dan MacLennan, Jamie Lyall, Dale Clancy and Bruce Millar who will be joined by weekly guest co-commentators.

Ayrshire Bulls lifting the FOSROC Super6 in 2021

The FOSROC Super6 Sprint Series will commence this month, with all six participating teams playing each other once. The league will then be split with the teams who finished in the top half playing the teams who finished in the bottom half over three weekends of play-offs to determine the final placings.

Although the FOSROC Super6 Championship in the summer will be our main competition, the FOSROC Super6 Sprint Series will play a crucial part in building towards the first full season of Championship fixtures.

Scottish Rugby Head of Performance Programmes, Grant McKelvey said: “We’re delighted that both FreeSports and BBC Scotland will be continuing as broadcast partners of the FOSROC Super6. To be able to broadcast all 21 matches to a worldwide audience is a significant landmark development for the competition.

With cross-border opportunities on hold for this season due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic, we’re focused on delivering a quality season of rugby at this important level. The FOSROC Super6 Sprint Series gives all players and teams an opportunity to showcase themselves with the expansive brand of rugby we saw in the last edition, played in better, hopefully warmer weather.

Once all Super6 clubs have managed to reset after the sprint we move into the block of 10 intensive fixtures for the FOSROC Super6 Championship, which culminates with the semi-final play offs for the top four placed teams in the league, followed by the grand final at the end of October.”

Bulls Head Coach Pete Horne said:

With news of the fixtures being announced, the excitement is really building to get back to competitive rugby.

Our boys have worked incredibly hard since Christmas and with the culmination of the U20’s 6 Nations and the club domestic season we are looking forward to having our full squad back together, ready to rip into the sprint competition.

Having spoken with the other coaches, it sounds as if everyone has recruited well and their squads are in a better position than ever to take the competition to another level.

As Champions from last season, we know the target will be on our backs but it will drive us to work harder as we aim for more success.”

FreeSports can be found on Freeview HD channel 65, Sky HD channel 422, Virgin HD 553, TalkTalk 64, BT Vision channel 64 and on the online FreeSports Player.

The Ayrshire Bulls fixtures in full:

Round 1

Friday 15th April

Ayrshire Bulls v Boroughmuir Bears

KO: 7.45pm – Live on FreeSports

Round 2

Saturday 23rd April

Stirling County v Ayrshire Bulls

KO: 4.30pm – Live on BBC iPlayer and Scottish Rugby website

Round 3

Saturday 30th April

Ayrshire Bulls v Heriot’s Rugby

KO: 4.30pm – Live on BBC iPlayer and Scottish Rugby website

Round 4

Saturday 7th May

Southern Knights v Ayrshire Bulls

KO: 4.30pm – Live on BBC iPlayer and Scottish Rugby website

Round 5

Saturday 21st May

Ayrshire Bulls v Watsonians

KO: 2pm – Live on BBC iPlayer and Scottish Rugby website

Once the standings are confirmed, the remaining fixtures will be as follows:

Friday 27 May
2nd v 3rd, 7:45pm – Live on FreeSports 
Saturday 28 May
5th v 6th, 2pm – Live on BBC iPlayer and Scottish Rugby website

Friday 3 June
3rd v 1st, 7:45pm – Live on FreeSports
Saturday 4 June
6th v 4th, 2pm – Live on BBC iPlayer and Scottish Rugby website

Friday 10 June
1st v 2nd, 7:45pm – Live on FreeSports 
Saturday 11 June
4th v 5th, 2pm – Live on BBC iPlayer and Scottish Rugby website