Careful approach by Rose after positive meeting

BT Premiership leaders Melrose (in yellow) in action recently against Ayr.
BT Premiership leaders Melrose (in yellow) in action recently against Ayr.

BT Premiership table-toppers Melrose are continuing to take a cautious approach over their own future and the future of the Scottish game, following a meeting last week on the proposed new ‘Super Six’ set-up.

Scottish Rugby intends to introduce a semi-professional league, consisting of half a dozen teams, as part of a £3.6m overhaul of its domestic structure from 2019-20.

The ‘Super Six’ is designed to replace the BT Premiership and sit directly above an amateur 12-team Championship.

Underneath this will come a new three-tier National League system.

The proposal aims to fill the space between the club game and professional game in Scotland, but it has big implcitactons for both, as well as some strong financial considerations, among others, for clubs contemplating whether to join.

Melrose held a meeting at the Greenyards last week of over 130 members, which was very positively received.

Scottish Rugby’s chief exective Mark Dodson also attended, which meant various questions could be answered on the spot.

However, the club’s director of rugby Mike Dalgetty stressed no decision had been made yet and whatever option Melrose took would be in the best interests of the club.

“We have had discussions with potential new partners who have expressed an interest in becoming involved with the club, should it decide to proceed with applying for a franchise,” he said.

“The final decision on a formal application will be made prior to the end of March.”

Mr Dalgetty said Melrose have always had ambitions to be at the top end of the club game – but its normal, traditional existence was paramount and had to be safeguarded.

“If this is going to happen, we have to exhaust all opportunities to be part of it, if it suits the club. If not, then we have to take that deidison and see where it leaves us,” he added.

Further discussions would be held with various parties and Mr Dalgetty said: “We are going through every process to make sure we make the right decision and the best decision.”