World Cup is the target as Scots’ sights are set high
A SIX Nations Grand Slam by 2016 and winning the World Cup are the ambitious targets at the heart of the Scottish Rugby Union’s new four-year strategy.
The Union’s member clubs will be told today of a plan designed to put Scotland’s professional teams at “the upper echelons of European rugby and to build a winning mentality across the whole country”.
A press release sent out on the eve of this morning’s annual general meeting at Murrayfield states: “Addressing his first agm as chief executive, Mark Dodson will unveil ambitious targets of securing a Six Nations Grand Slam by 2016 and winning the Rugby World Cup.”
Dodson said: “We are making real progress in revitalising the game of rugby in Scotland. Since I joined Scottish Rugby I’ve said I want to place much greater focus on making the pro clubs as successful as we can.
“By better aligning our professional sides with club sides around the country we will be able to support and nurture the grassroots I firmly believe that by doing that, we will create a virtuous circle, which benefits every club and player in the country.
“We want to capitalise on the good seasons enjoyed at the Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby and challenge them to go even further in this coming season.
“The goals we’ve set reflect our ambition for the game in Scotland. With unity, and support from the whole nation, there is no reason we can’t achieve those goals.” Chairman Sir Moir Lockhead said of the strategic plan: “I am proud to be associated with such an ambitious and inspirational plan and it is now time for us all to pull together to bring this plan to life, safeguarding the future of Scottish Rugby.”
Dodson is expected to report that the Union has achieved a surplus of £1.6 million with turnover increasing by £3.1m over the previous year. Additional hospitality, event and income from the professional clubs along with IRB grant income in a Rugby World Cup year all contributing. These incomes offset lower revenues from ticketing and broadcasting, which were reduced by a differing home international match schedule.
Direct club support and related development expenditure for 2011/12 was £1.9m, an increase of five per cent on the previous year. This includes jointly funded development officers; the payment of accident insurance premiums; travel support and match officials expenses for club games. The SRU press release adds: “The chief executive will also note the disappointment at the performance of the national team at the 2011 Rugby World Cup and on the RBS Six Nations. However, buoyed the clean sweep of Australia, Fiji and Samoa on the summer tour of the southern hemisphere, Scotland have risen in the world rankings, giving the squad a winning platform from which to build towards the autumn tests.
Today’s agm will mark the departure of legendary Scotland prop, Ian ‘Mighty Mouse’ McLauchlan from his role as president, a position he has held for the past two years. McLauchlan said: “It’s been an honour to serve as president of Scottish Rugby these past two years, an honour to see the other side of the game.
“I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working alongside some truly dedicated people and I thank each and every one of them for their support along the way.” President-elect Alan Lawson, 15 times capped for Scotland at scrum-half, will take up the president’s role after being ratified by the member clubs.
Gordon Bulloch and Donald Emslie are both leaving the board and will be replaced by McLauchlan and Colin Grassie, UK CEO of Deutsche Bank.
Dodson, will join John Jeffrey in representing the SRU on the International Rugby Board (IRB), matching up with other unions to have their CEO on the IRB panel.
Jeffrey will replace Jock Millican on the Six Nations Committee alongside Colin Thomson, the SRU’s head of community tugby. MacLauchlan and Dodson will continue to represent the organisation on the ERC.
With Dodson stepping aside from his role as representative on Celtic rugby, that representative position will be filled by former SRU Board Member Ed Crozier, along with current council and board member, John Davidson.
• Further financial details are available in the SRU’s annual report which is available at scottishrugby.org
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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