Newly elected Scottish Rugby president Ian Rankin and his vice-president Ed Crozier have stated that the interests of clubs will be at the heart of everything they do during 2014/15.
Rankin became the youngest man to take up the post when he took over the reins from Donald MacLeod at the AGM at Heriot-Watt’s Riccarton campus on Saturday. Crozier, of Cartha Queen’s Park, beat off competition from Euan Kennedy (Watsonians) and Gerry Tosh (Dundee HSFP) to become vice-president, and both men are excited about the year ahead.
As a player Rankin came close to representing Scotland, while as a coach he had great success at a number of clubs at different levels, most recently Dundee HSFP. And, having greatly enjoyed his year as vice-president, he cannot wait to get his teeth into this new challenge.
He said: “I feel very honoured to be speaking now as president of Scottish Rugby. It does hit home to you when you are at the AGM and you see some of the guys who have been in the post before you as well as familiar faces from the club game and the national and pro coaches.
“We are all in this together, and everything that was said at the meeting was very positive. Many people have been at countless AGMs and they were coming up to me afterwards and saying ‘this is the best one I have been to’.
“It is easy to be negative at times, but everyone is being positive right now. Personally, for me, I never thought that I would come along this road and end up in this position, but last year helped me a lot and I am determined to put everything into it.
“As someone who has been around both the club game and the pro game over the years, I think I understand how both of these entities work, and with a semi-pro league in the offing it is more important than ever that everyone works together to help produce the best talent for Scotland.”
Rankin also paid tribute to the outgoing president, MacLeod, and said: “Donald has worked tirelessly in the role and to have been able to work with him was a great honour.”
Crozier noted: “I am over the moon to have been elected. It is a huge privilege for me and I must thank Euan and Gerry for running great campaigns. Over the last few months, visiting clubs, it has shown me that the passion for rugby in this country is burning as bright as ever.
“I would like to see schools rugby flourish and I would also like to see the BT Premiership being the catalyst and the shop window to help develop regional clubs so that there is not a ‘them and us’, but a ‘we’.”
Crozier joked that, as a former referee, ex-coach Rankin had been “assisting me in making decisions from the sidelines for years”, and you get the feeling that this straight-talking pair will work well together.