Scots sit out sevens
September 28, 2000

Scotland, the birthplace of the seven-a-side game, will not be represented in next year's World Sevens Series after the SRU turned down an invitation to compete in the Grand Prix sevens tournaments in Dubai and South Africa to concentrate on the effort to improve results.

Scotland will miss the tournament for one season and have targeted the 2002 Commonwealth Games for their comeback in sevens competition. But SRU director of rugby Jim Telfer insisted the decision to withdraw from all sevens competitions has not been taken lightly. "In the last few years in sevens, Scotland has dropped down from being in the top eight, through to being in the top 16 to now failing to win a place in the World Cup Sevens in Argentina in January 2001," said Telfer.

"At present, sevens are not looked upon as being very important in the development of players in Scotland and there are many, many demands on our top players. We believe there has to be a culture change throughout Scottish rugby which enables the sevens game to be used as a positive medium for developing young rugby players.

"We need to position sevens in our international and professional hierarchy. I am proposing that we appoint a sevens programme manager, from our existing rugby division staff , to head the development of sevens at international level. A comprehensive report will be produced also on the state of domestic sevens both at senior schools/youth levels," Telfer continued.

"This would be followed by a review of the best way forward so that schools, youth and club sevens are an integral part of producing young quality sevens players. Finally, we should look at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester as a reasonable target competition to judge how our sevens development plan is progressing."

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