Irvine second term will be unopposed

ANDY Irvine will be elected unopposed as president at the Scottish Rugby Union agm on Friday night in an act his supporters believe is vital to continuing Scottish rugby's climb away from the abyss.

Jock Millican, the former Scotland international and Heriot's president, was responsible for persuading Irvine to take on the role last year at a time of huge turmoil in the game, and he admitted it took a bit of soul-searching to ask him to stay put for another year.

"I know how much time Andy has put into his year in office and how he has managed it while still holding down a job, who knows?" said Millican. "As a friend, I had to ask myself whether it was right to ask him to do it again, but I know how passionate he is about our game and the fact is we need that kind of person as our president at this time.

"I really think Andy was very important this year in terms of his enthusiasm, dynamism and the positive attitude that things can happen and will happen. He has got the recovery process started and I think Scottish rugby has come on huge steps, but we all acknowledge that it has only just started and it's important to keep momentum going.

"With Andy staying that will be the case because as a person he is respected by almost everyone in Scottish rugby, and the way he has got himself around the country, listening to small clubs as well as the big ones, and often taking action on what people have told him. That has been a big part of the way clubs have come together to help Scottish rugby move on from what was a horrendous year for us."

The Dunlop Report, which last year provided a new template for governing rugby in the future, introduced the premise that a president no longer had to serve on the SRU committee, and also stated that the president serve no more than two years in an effort to avoid staleness enveloping the governing body. A clutch of new faces will join the Scottish Rugby Council this week with others serving another year.