Scots withdraw from British and Irish Cup

First published in Sport Free Press Series: Photograph of the Author by

SCOTTISH clubs have pulled out of next season’s British and Irish Cup.

The tournament has been reduced from 24 teams to 20 after the Scots were unable to fit it into their domestic calendar.

Gwent sides had a perfect record against Scottish opposition; Newport enjoyed victories against Gael Force and Currie while Cross Keys triumphed at Ayr.

Wales will provide four teams to the 2014/15 cross-border competition – one Premiership outfit from each region decided by pre-season playoffs – and they will lock horns with the 12 English Championship clubs and Ireland’s four provincial A teams.

The battle to be Gwent’s representative will see Keys, runners-up to Munster A in 2012, host Ebbw Vale and Newport head to Bedwas before the winners meet in a final.

There will be five groups with teams playing each other home and away in a bid to make the quarter-finals. The group fixtures will take place in two windows either side of the autumn internationals.

Group stages: October 11, 18, 25, November 29 and December 6, 13.

Quarter-finals: January 24

Semi-finals: March 13

Final: April 3

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