A social network page set up by a Galashiels man has been causing a stir within Scottish rugby and beyond during the last two weeks.
Change for Scottish Rugby has signed up almost 6,000 followers since its launch on February 9 – the day after the England debacle – and founder Ross Forsyth has vowed to continue piling on the pressure until the governing body addresses the current issues within the game.
Talking to The Southern this week about his newly-found Facebook fame, Forsyth said: “The overall sense of powerlessness and disdain that the SRU seem to be the only ones who can’t see the areas they need to address prompted the page.
“So many people were posting links to articles on social media all saying the same thing, so I thought a page could take hold, and it has.”
The 25-year-old is currently working in Finland as a husky guide, but will be returning to his Borders home in the next few weeks. A former Langlee Primary and Galashiels Academy pupil, Forsyth worked his way through the rugby ranks via Langlee, Mini Maroons, Gala Red Triangle, Selkirkshire Blues, Western Warriors and Gala Wanderers before signing up for Aberdeenshire RFC while attending Aberdeen University.
As well as the Facebook page, Forsyth is also gathering names on an online petition which calls for more professional teams in Scotland and already has more than 600 signatories.
“Realistically, we want the SRU to begin plans for a third then fourth pro team,” he added. “Three pro teams is a definite, achievable short-term goal – but a fourth team is what we think Scotland needs to aim for long term. Hopefully the petition will show the SRU and private investors that the public are behind the idea.
“To revamp their academy structure and scrap the ‘Project Player’ initiative (bolstering selection options with foreign players) that they are spending money on should also be a priority. We need to go down to grassroots level and produce talented young players in the knowledge they will have the chance to turn pro.”
Go to www.facebook.com/changeforScottishRugby to view Foryth’s page and for a link to the petition.