Ruth Davidson appointed to Scottish Rugby board alongside BBC's The Apprentice interviewer

Ruth Davidson, the former leader of the Scottish Conservatives, has joined the board of Scottish Rugby alongside a familiar face from BBC’s The Apprentice.

Davidson has been appointed a non-executive director at the Murrayfield-based organisation with respected publisher Mike Soutar, a candidate interviewer on the popular TV show that seeks to find a business partner Sir Alan Sugar, taking up a similar role.

Davidson, who stepped down from her position at the helm of the Tory party in Scotland in 2019, has spent more than two decades in journalism and politics and is a member of the House of Lords.

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Speaking on her appointment, Davidson said: “As a lifelong Scotland fan, I am delighted to be joining the board of Scottish Rugby Ltd. From our community clubs through to the international teams, we have so much to be proud of – and so much further potential to be fulfilled.

Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson arrives at a Six Nations match between Scotland and England at BT Murrayfield in 2018.Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson arrives at a Six Nations match between Scotland and England at BT Murrayfield in 2018.
Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson arrives at a Six Nations match between Scotland and England at BT Murrayfield in 2018.

“We have to match that potential with ambition and that means working collectively to ensure we are getting things right - from talent spotting to training, infrastructure to finance, safeguarding to leadership, to name but a few.

“I want to help grow the game in Scotland in any way I can and ensure the hard work which underpins it is directed in the most effective way possible.”

Soutar, who is credited with revolutionising the magazine sector with the launch of Shortlist Media in 2007 before becoming the first CEO of the Evening Standard, as well as taking on a portfolio of leadership roles across art, finance and production, added: “I am delighted to join the Board of Scottish Rugby Limited and look forward to working with Chair John McGuigan and my fellow Directors to build upon the remarkable legacy and progress achieved by the organisation in recent years.

This is a transformative era for the sport, and there are substantial opportunities to expand the reach of Scottish Rugby for the benefits of all parts of the game. I am keen to support CEO Mark Dodson and his team in maximising the impact of the growing women's game, and supporting the crucial work of grassroots community clubs. I am also very excited about the significant potential in our professional teams and the Scotland national sides to captivate a wider fan base.

“As a proud Scot and lifelong rugby enthusiast, having first played the sport as an 11-year-old schoolboy in Glenrothes, joining the Board is a genuine honour. I hope to make a meaningful contribution to the future success of Scottish Rugby.”

Scottish Rugby Limited Board Chair, John McGuigan, welcomed the appointments.

“I am delighted Ruth and Mike have agreed to join the SRL Board," he said. "They bring significant experience gained over many years in areas that will be critical as we continue to evolve the game in Scotland.

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"Alongside their experience and absolute love for the game, Mike and Ruth share my commitment to deliver results through working in partnership with all parts of Scottish Rugby.”

Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson added: “It is a further demonstration of the power of sport and progress Scottish Rugby is committed to making that we can welcome appointments who will deliver the level of experience and credibility Ruth and Mike will bring to the Scottish Rugby Limited Board.

“As a sport we have significant opportunities, as well as challenges, ahead in the coming years and their respective experience will be invaluable as we navigate through the sporting, financial and societal changes we will be facing.”



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