MELROSE is set to a new era of semi-professional rugby in Scotland.

But both Hawick and Gala have been unsuccessful in capturing a place in Scottish Rugby's controversial Super 6.

Murrayfield announced today (Tuesday) that Melrose have been awarded a franchise along with Ayr, Boroughmuir, Heriot’s, Stirling County and Watsonians.

A further six clubs - Currie Chieftains, Dundee, Edinburgh Academicals, Gala, Glasgow Hawks and Hawick - were unsuccessful following a review process.

A review panel, which was independently chaired by Sir Bill Gammell, conducted a rigorous assessment of each application before making a recommendation to the Scottish Rugby Board.

Sir Gammell said: “I believe the advent of Super 6 is an exciting, forward-thinking evolution within Scottish rugby.

"I was impressed by the strength, quality, partnership and collaboration in the 12 bids, demonstrating the real potential for future growth.”

Scottish Rugby will now form a working party consisting of members of Scottish Rugby and representatives from each franchise.

The aim of the group is to ensure that all aspects of the Super 6 are covered, from rugby operations to commercial matters, in preparation for the start of the Super 6 2019/20 season.

Scottish Rugby Chief Executive, Mark Dodson said: “At the outset I’d like to thank everyone associated with the 12 applicants who worked so hard to put forward a fantastic selection of bids. It was a great response and evident that a great deal of time and effort had been put into them.

“Given we had double the number of bids for the places available in Super 6, inevitably some of the applicants would lose out. The Review Panel gave each bidder a full, fair and equal opportunity to make their case.

“The six successful applications will, I believe, enable Super 6 to achieve our ambition to raise the standard of rugby at the top of the club game in Scotland and also create strong, sustainable franchises in their own right.

“The bids from the successful six clubs clearly demonstrated a shared vision for what Super 6 can become and highlighted the ambitions of these clubs to grow. This is the start of our Super 6 journey together and I feel we are well-placed to make it a success.”

Melrose will team up with Edinburgh Napier University as part of the Super 6 franchise.

A spokesman for the Greenyards club said: "This opportunity to support bridging the gap between the club and professional game is something Melrose Rugby has worked tirelessly to do since the game went professional in 1997.

"Edinburgh Napier University will play a pivotal role in further bridging this gap and we are delighted to be working in conjunction with them.

"Both their expertise in elite sports performance along with world class facilities will foster the environment to help the Melrose Rugby franchise flourish.”

Scottish Rugby will continue to work with the six unsuccessful applicants to provide both individual feedback through a series of meetings led by Mark Dodson.

A spokesman for Gala said: "We are obviously disappointed not to have been selected as a franchisee for the Super 6, but would like to congratulate those who have been successful and wish them every success in this new venture for Scottish rugby.

"Given the facilities that Gala Rugby can offer we hope to be involved at some time in the future.

"We sincerely hope that the ‘partner’ to Super 6, Agenda 3 can stimulate and sustain amateur club rugby in Scotland in parallel with the development of the Super 6.”