Opportunity knocks for rising stars
April 11, 2000
Former Scotland coach Jim Telfer insists that the revival of the Inter District Championship will help catapult young stars of the future into the international arena.
Scotland are still on a high after the defeat of England in the Lloyds TSB Six Nations tournament and the resurrection of the tournament after a two-year absence is set to offer further opportunities for future Murrayfield stars.
Caledonia and the Scottish Borders will both battle it out with Edinburgh and Glasgow for the trophy which Edinburgh won two years ago.
The four teams will be made up of the best young talent from club sides up and down Scotland and professional players.
There are two professional players in the tournament _ Caledonia's Alan Brown and Glasgow's Fraser Stott _ who play for super district Edinburgh Reivers and Glasgow Caledonians respectively, but they are just reserve players with those clubs.
Telfer unveiled the new structure at Murrayfield and he hopes the young players can use it as a springboard to the professional game.
Telfer said: ``It gives great aspirations for the young players coming through from all districts.
``It's a great opportunity for these young players to bridge that gap to the professional game and this is a chance to do that.
``We have had meetings with coaches and managers to back our rules on eligibility and we agreed to the kind of players we want to play.
``We want to see mainly club players with a few professionals. This is what the districts wanted and we went along with that.''
Telfer, meanwhile, has spoken of his plans to see a Scottish Exiles team return to the tournament next season. They were excluded from the competition despite winning the trophy two years in a row in 1995 and 1996, but Telfer wants them restored in a five-team tournament.
Telfer added: ``We hope to have the Exiles back next year.
''We have to take it one step at a time, but we want them to be part of the Inter District Championship.
``They will be amateur players in the Exiles team and not professional players because it's difficult to get players from Premiership clubs in England.
``We could get players who are not involved with the First Division and players from the Second Division.''