Callum Kerr

Tomorrow evening the Ayrshire Bulls will kick-start their 2023 FOSROC Super Series Championship, welcoming old foes Watsonians to Millbrae in round one.

The two sides need no introduction to one and other – This rivalry dates back long before the inception of part-time professional rugby. An already hotly-contested fixture was only heightened by the introduction of the new league – with both sides setting the standard.

Since the creation of FOSROC Super Series rugby there’s been four trophies up for grabs, and both the Bulls and Watsonians have split the silverware evenly. A maiden 2021 Championship for the Bulls along with the most recent Super Series sprint crown is cancelled out by Watsonians winning the 2022 instalments of both competitions. Better yet, it was the Bulls they downed in extra time in last year’s championship conclusion.

One thing is certain, in four months’ time a team will lift the trophy aloft once more and both of tomorrow’s competitors will be hell-bent on making sure it’s them.

The Bulls head into the competition off the back of claiming the FOSROC Super Series Sprint title two months ago and vice-captain Ed Bloodworth thinks that momentum is an advantage for Pat MacArthur’s men: “It gives us confidence, but we’ve also had some new faces come in since then that’ll play a key part in what we do this year. They’ll need to get up to speed quickly but all in all I think we’re in a good place for the first game this weekend”.

Bloodworth is heading into his third year with the Bulls having joined after the lockdown period. The towering lock adjusted to life in Burns country with ease, being a key influence in the teams’ inaugural FOSROC Super6 title in 2021. He’s been a constant in the squad ever since and equally contributed to the recent sprint success.

Although optimistic, he knows all too well the pedigree the Bulls are up against on match day one. Speaking on how important a game it is, he said: “It’s probably the biggest match we will face. The last couple of years it’s been us and Watsonians going head-to-head. Last year in the championship we beat them here and lost away, so tomorrow’s goal is to maintain our home record and get a step ahead for the season”.

Bloodworth didn’t hesitate when asked what the goal is for this season: “Simply… to win. That’s what’s drilled into us by Pat – we turn up, put the effort in and reap the rewards at the end of the day”.

There’s still a lot of rugby to be played and tomorrow is only the first act but both sides know how crucial a match it could prove down the stretch.

The action gets underway at 17.30 and if you can’t make it to Millbrae it’s live on BBC iPlayer, the BBC Scotland website and

You can secure your Bulls tickets below, or get in with a valid ticket from Ayr United’s match earlier in the day as part of the Dash of Pink fundraiser.