The stand-offs between clubs and unions, which have already afflicted English and Welsh rugby in the nascent professional era, yesterday came into the open in Scotland too when eight leading clubs combined to force a special general meeting of the Scottish RU on the subject of Europe, writes Steve Bale.
When the meeting is held at Murrayfield within the next six weeks, these clubs, which include the champions, Melrose, will need a two-thirds majority of the entire membership to overturn an SRU committee decision to enter districts in the European Cup next season.
The inaugural competition, without Scottish or English participation, reached a triumphant conclusion with Sunday's final between Cardiff and Toulouse, a match which has left the bigger Scottish clubs eager for access when the Scots join an expanded 20-team format which will include English clubs.
It is the contention of Melrose and their peer group that the best players will gravitate to the best clubs to form an elite, capable not only of being competitive, but also generating the fervour shown by Sunday's finalists.
The alternative view most prominently expressed by the SRU's rugby director, Jim Telfer, holds that Scottish clubs would stand no chance against the likes of Cardiff and Toulouse, especially if the inaugural final is anything to go by.Reuse content