Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors women's teams will again compete in an expanded Celtic Challenge later this year, it has been confirmed.

The tournament, which helped kick-start the international careers of Francesca McGhie in its inaugural year, and Alex Stewart in the 2023 edition, will move to 10 rounds and is set to kick off in December. 

Each of the six teams will play five home and five away fixtures each, before concluding their season in March ahead of the Guinness Women’s Six Nations.  

The overall winner will be determined based on league table standings at the end of the 30-game season. 


After a successful pilot year, this year’s event saw some impressive gains with 68 players from the Celtic Challenge going on to feature in the Guinness Women’s Six Nations. 

Gemma Fay, head of women and girls’ strategy at Scottish Rugby, said: “The 2023/24 iteration of the Celtic Challenge has been successful for Scottish Rugby in supporting us to provide another step in our pipeline to international rugby in Scotland.  

“We have seen 35 players move from our pathway to playing for Edinburgh Rugby or Glasgow Warriors, with six of those training with Scotland Women during the Guinness Six Nations including Alex Stewart who earned her first cap. 

“The expansion of the competition this season has also given us strong benchmarks to work from both on and off the pitch – from results, player development, media to spectators – and we look forward to exploring how we can further support this for next season.” 

Glasgow Warriors managing director Al Kellock also welcomed the news. 

He said: “We’re pleased to be able to confirm that our women’s squad will once again be competing in the Celtic Challenge – it’s a competition that has the potential to provide a new platform and a new opportunity for some of Scotland’s brightest talents, and one that proved extremely popular with our supporters in its first season. 

Scotland Rugby News: Scotland international Louise McMillan runs out for Glasgow WarriorsScotland international Louise McMillan runs out for Glasgow Warriors (Image: SNS)

“The newly-expanded competition will also allow our supporters to further get behind their newest Warriors, with the atmosphere at Scotstoun something that each of our players noted across their involvement in the Celtic Challenge this season.” 

This year's tournament was the first time Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors had established women's teams, with one Scottish side participating in the pilot year under The Thistles name. 

Edinburgh Rugby managing director Douglas Struth added: “I’m excited we can announce the second season of our women’s side.  

“The team’s first season was a huge step forward for the club, and I can’t wait to see how they can develop in the expanded competition. 

Scotland Rugby News: Rhona Lloyd in action for Edinburgh during this year's Celtic ChallengeRhona Lloyd in action for Edinburgh during this year's Celtic Challenge (Image: SNS)

“It’s an extremely exciting time in women’s rugby – with Scotland getting a sell-out crowd at Hive Stadium, and the viewing figures of the Guinness Women’s Six Nations reaching outstanding new heights. 

“It’s brilliant to be involved, and I can’t wait to see the Edinburgh fans get behind the team this season.”