Notwithstanding yesterday’s disappointment there are a number of reasons to be optimistic about the future of Scottish rugby.
1. Glasgow winning last year’s Pro 12. Edinburgh becoming competitive, reaching last year’s Challenge Cup final and in contention for a play off place. I think it is a good thing that both Scottish teams do not automatically qualify for the European Cup.
2. There is now more coverage of Scottish rugby. Although print media coverage has declined social media coverage is increasing all the time. Glasgow Rugby seem especially keen to use social media. We in the Borders are also very lucky to have Border Rugby TV.
3. The SRU now seem to be taking women’s rugby more seriously with the appointment of Shade Munro and the amount of resources going into it.
4. Finally we seem to be moving in the right direction as far as regional academies are concerned.
5. Friday’s win for our under 20 team is tangible evidence of the growing number of players we at last have coming through and who seem ready for a career as a professional rugby player. I suspect a lot of this is down to the work of Sean Lineen.
6. The appointment of Richie Gray
7. The standard of the premiership continues to improve as does the coaching at that level. It is now a very competitive league.
8. The news of the increased links with London Scottish is long overdue and could potentially give a number of younger players a great chance to experience a good level of rugby. Again I am glad to see Sean Lineen involved in this. We also need to consider whether the money we put into our national sevens squad could be better spent at London Scottish or on our premiership teams.
9. The Club internationals are a good addition to the rugby calendar. I personally would still like to see our district teams play in the B&I Cup or have them play each other on the same weekends Edinburgh play Glasgow.
10. At last we have the makings of a Scottish wide competitive youth structure.
11. There seems to be more sponsorship money coming into our professional game and the SRU’s debt mountain could at last be paid off within a few years.
It is just a pity that so many years were wasted by a series of incompetent SRU administrations.