MORE than 130 members of Melrose rugby club attended a meeting at The Greenyards last Wednesday night to discuss the possibility of bidding to become a Super 6 franchise, with director of rugby Mike Dalgetty presenting to the group and Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson answering questions.
“I was pleased by the tone of the meeting which was held in a very positive manner. The post meeting feedback has been very positive from the members I have had the opportunity to speak to,” said Dalgetty afterwards.
“In addition, 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. The final decision on a formal application will be made prior to the end of March.”
While concerns remain on a number of critical issues such as the financial viability of taking on a franchise (one experienced club official believes there is a £40,000 shortfall in the current business model) and the stipulation that Super 6 squad members cannot be released to get game time in the ‘amateur’ leagues below, Dalgetty says he is encouraged that there seems to be a greater willingness from the Murrayfield hierarchy to compromise and adapt than was initially evident when the scheme was first unveiled last summer.
“It remains to be seen whether it is the right thing for Melrose rugby club and there will come a point where we have to make a decision on that, but the biggest mistake we could make is not do everything in our power at the moment to find out how it will work,” he explained.
This cautious but generally positive response from Melrose on the prospect of taking on a Super 6 franchise will have pleased Dodson, who is understood to have been frustrated that his proposal has not been more warmly received by the wider rugby community and keen to persuade one or more of the leading clubs in the country to publicly express their support.
Clubs interested in taking on a Super 6 franchise have been asked to submit a note of interest by 31st January.