AYR Rugby Club say their focus remains on the future after the surprise announcement last week that the Scottish Rugby Union is to disband the Super Series initiative – meaning it's the end of the road for the Ayrshire Bulls.

Bosses at Murrayfield confirmed the scrapping of the part-time professional league to the six participating clubs, including Ayr, at a meeting last week.

The SRU says the decision to do away with the Super Series is part of a new ‘male performance pathway’ structure including an expanded academy structure at Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh, with both URC clubs adding ‘A teams’, and the reintroduction of a Scotland A team.

The Ayrshire Bulls won the inaugural Super6 competition in 2021, following a 15-month hiatus due to Covid, and triumphed in the second Super Series Sprint tournament last year, as well as finishing runner-up to Watsonians in the main SuperSeries in 2022 and to Stirling Wolves in November.

Ayr were one of six clubs awarded Super Series licences in 2019, alongside Boroughmuir, Watsonians, Heriot’s, Stirling County and Melrose.

This year’s Sprint series is due to get under way in mid-April, with some doubt currently believed to be hanging over the prospect of the main Super Series Championship taking place as planned in the autumn.

A spokesperson for Ayr Rugby Club said: “Preparation has started for the Ayrshire Bulls as they look to defend their Sprint title, with the first game scheduled for April 19.

“We have four home games to look forward to, two of which are being broadcast live.

“As has been well documented our first XV has completed the return to the Premiership, and we are very excited to be back competing for the title we last won in 2019.

“Our ambition will, as always, be to win the title and be recognised as the top club in Scotland.

“Key to the success of our first team is the depth of our second XV. Competition for selection has never been as good as it is, and the second XV are still pushing to gain promotion this season.

“Our ladies’ team is another success story; the success of the ladies’ team and the number of players getting involved has allowed us to field a second team this season for the first time ever.

“The youth section at Ayr has always been vibrant for boys and girls , and it continues to produce players challenging for representative honours at various age group levels.

“It is also exciting to announce that the well documented major redevelopment of Millbrae is very close to starting and will ensure our ambition on and off the field is unparalleled.

“The goalposts may have been moved again but we remain focused on the progress of Ayr Rugby Club and the community around us.”

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On the pitch, meanwhile, Marr made sure of a home match in the Premiership's end-of-season play-offs after seeing off Currie 27-17 at Malleny Park on Friday night.

Alex Apthorpe, Blair Jardine and William Farquhar were the try scorers for Kenny Diffenthal's men as they made sure of second place in the regular league standings.

They'll now face off against the same opponents in the play-off semi-finals at Fullarton on Saturday, March 2, with the winner facing either Hawick or Kelso in the final. 

Garnock extended their 100 per cent record in National 4 to a 15th game after seeing off Dunfermline 57-0 at Lochshore.

Kilmarnock are hovering perilously close to the West Division 1 drop zone after a 24-22 defeat away to Dalziel, while in West 2, Carrick closed the gap on leaders Cambuslang to just three points courtesy of a nailbiting 15-14 win away to Waysiders/Drumpellier.

Ardrossan Accies were given a bye into the next round of the National Shield competition after opponents Cumbernauld withdrew, while Cumnock had to work harder for their place in the next round, but still won through after a 43-18 win at home to Annan.