Scots urged to expand district game

Rugby Union
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The game in Scotland has been given a vision of the future with the publication of a report that spells out what the country must do to remain competitive in the new professional game.

At the core of the report is the admission that the club structure in Scotland cannot deliver success at international level and that attention must turn to strengthening the districts.

The report, drawn up by the Scottish Rugby Football Union, recommends that the districts should turn professional. "We do not have the financial or player resources of other countries," said the SRFU president, Fred McLeod, yesterday. "Success at international level depends on district participation."

The report says the SRFU should finance up to 100 full-time players. They would play a programme of representative matches throughout the season but would still be available for their clubs. The union would establish a list of fixtures to include six inter-district matches, at least eight European Cup games, development squad, A and full international matches.

It has been suggested that top international players would be able to earn about pounds 80,000 while those at the other end of the representative scale could make pounds 15,000 to pounds 20,000 in a season.