SCOTTISH RUGBY Chief Executive Mark Dodson says professional players will be invited to train at Murrayfield on a voluntary basis on 22nd June, assuming that the Scottish Government move to stage two in the relaxation of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions on 18th June.
Speaking on a conference call with journalists this afternoon, Dodson said: “The most welcome sign of change is the fact that from June 22nd we’ve invited the players back to BT Murrayfield subject to on June 18th the restrictions being lifted and us going into phase two.
“Effectively, the Glasgow and Edinburgh players are being invited to voluntary fitness sessions, making sure that we keep players fit for a presumed resumption of contact rugby at the end of August or beginning of September.”
Dodson added that Scottish Rugby would welcome this enforced pause in the game being a catalyst to a radical change in the rugby calendar weighted towards summer action.
“I think this is one of the optimistic things that has happened recently through coronavirus,” he said. “I am more encouraged than I have ever been in the time that I have been in the game about the level of optimism around the global calendar.
“From my point of view, on a personal level and from a Scotland level, we’re very happy with the idea of summer rugby.We think it’s good for participation at grassroots level, we think it is going to be something that takes the game forward, but the most crucial thing about this that the global alignment not only releases revenue opportunities but it works for everybody – it is a common sense issue, there is player welfare issues, there is also the idea that we can have make the summer and autumn series much more attractive.
“As I say, from where I sit there is more cooperation going on than I have ever witnessed in my lifetime. People are not taking entrenched positions, people are looking to include the emerging nations more than before and we are working a lot more closely with SANZAR around what they want.”
More to follow …