President Macleod vows to back club game in Scotland

22/06/13 'EDINBURGH'New SRU President Donald MacLeod (left) joins former SRU President Alan Lawson at the Scottish Rugby Union annual general meeting
22/06/13 'EDINBURGH'New SRU President Donald MacLeod (left) joins former SRU President Alan Lawson at the Scottish Rugby Union annual general meeting

Former Selkirk RFC president Donald Macleod was officially confirmed as president of Scottish Rugby at Saturday’s AGM.

A retired surgeon, Macleod was elected as vice-president of the Union at the 2012 AGM. During his long service within Scottish Rugby, he was the Scotland team doctor between 1967 and 1995 and was the Union’s honorary medical adviser between 1971 and 2003. MacLeod also served as team doctor on the 1983 Lions tour.

Former Dundee HSFP coach Ian Rankin was voted the SRU’s new vice-president and speaking at Saturday’s gathering Macleod left no-one in any doubt that the clubs will have two powerful new voices at the top table.

“Ian knows the professional game, but his election epitomises the fact that the clubs know that we need to strengthen the coaching structure,” he said.

“We need to grow the game and recognise the huge amount of hard work that will be undertaken by club volunteers because it’s the clubs which grow the game, not the SRU. We cannot survive without the professional game because it brings in the money, but my heart lies with the club game, the amateur game.”

To that end he promised that he would ensure the new academy structure will be in place this winter, and promised to push for a full club Six Nations tournament.

Macleod’s presidency at Selkirk Rugby Club ran from 2009-2011, and he becomes the second Selkirk RFC member to hold the SRU’s top post. Current committee member Bert Duffy served as SRU president in 2003/2004.

The board election results from the council saw Fergus Neil and Mike Monro re-elected, while Ian Barr joined the board following Jed-Forest member John Davidson’s departure.

Also at the AGM, Scottish Rugby’s chief executive Mark Dodson reported that turnover went up to a record £39.3million while year-end debt was down to £11.2million – the lowest position in more than a decade. The union also achieved a surplus of £0.9million in the year to April 30.

The issue of league reconstruction provided the main talking point at the AGM. Haddington RFC’s motion to abandon the present pyramid structure for Championship Leagues A and B and move to a linear structure (while also expanding those divisions to 12-club leagues) won a comfortable majority and will be implemented in season 2014/15.