SRU hits out at English clubs body over player release row

The SRU has expressed disappointment with the actions of England's Premiership Rugby Ltd over the dispute which threatened to see players based south of the border being denied release to the Scotland squad ahead of the upcoming autumn Tests.

National team captain Greig Laidlaw of Gloucester and four other Anglos have joined up with the Scotland squad in Edinburgh. Picture: SNS

The English clubs allowed five players to join up with Vern Cotter’s squad at the weekend, in accordance with World Rugby’s regulation 9, but insist the SRU owe unpaid medical bills for what they claim to be an injury sustained on international duty. PRL reported that “World Rugby will convene a regulations committee panel in November to settle the case”.

The player in question is believed to be the now retired prop Euan Murray, dating back to his time with Worcester in 2013 and the sum in question in the mid tens of thousands. PRL claims a total of £400,000 is owed to its member clubs by the Scottish, Italian, Samoan and Tongan unions.

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The SRU disputes that the injury was sustained while on Scotland duty and said that they have offered the opportunity for arbitration in the past but been rebuffed.

A Scottish Rugby spokesman said: “We usually have a good working relationship with PRL and so this tactic by them was both surprising and unnecessary.

“The case in dispute is historical. We have repeatedly offered to have an independent medical panel review the specifics of this case, but this has not been followed up by PRL and its Club.

“As a Union we take our responsibilities for player welfare seriously and have respected the necessary processes throughout.”