THE Scottish Rugby Union published a ‘Club and Schools Communication ezine’ this afternoon on behalf of the organisation’s president Rob Flockhart, which provided some more detail on the governing body’s plans to overhaul the way domestic rugby in Scotland is organised.
The ezine deals with the thorny issue of Agenda 3, which is a radical shake-up of the league structure and funding model of the domestic game, scheduled to come online by the start of the 2019-20 season.
While not referencing directly the cull of senior staff in the SRU’s domestic rugby department which was revealed in The Offside Line on Friday, the ezine did give an insight into how the new management structure is going to look, with greater devolution of responsibility being sought by the appointment of five new regional directors of rugby “who will be accountable for delivery of all aspects of the game in their wider regional areas, supporting the Council and dealing with local authorities, schools, colleges, universities, women and girls rugby and club forums.”
Flockhart explained that a more detailed document is to be issued by the governing body in early June which will –
• “Explain again what Agenda 3 is and describe the benefits it will bring to clubs in terms of money and support from Scottish Rugby.”
• “Reveal a brand-new support structure for the domestic game, replacing the current structure within BT Murrayfield, with 12 local managers, each of whom will be responsible for all aspects of service delivery to clubs and supporting the game in their local areas. Dedicated Schools and Youth Project Officers will continue to support this activity.
• “Explain that influence and decision-making will also devolve to local areas. Local solutions and decisions will be sought for local issues.
• “Set out the roles of 5 new Regional Directors of Rugby who will be accountable for delivery of all aspects of the game in their wider regional areas, supporting the Council and dealing with local authorities, schools, colleges, universities, women and girls rugby and club forums.
• “Give a briefing on where we are with the Super 6 Tournament now the franchises have been awarded, and discuss the possible impact on some clubs from the placing of Super 6 amateur teams into the new National 1 League.
• “Describe how sustainability is at the heart of what we will be introducing through Agenda 3.
• “Lay out a programme for discussion with clubs during the Summer and throughout next season on how Agenda 3 will address topics of concern. These will include volunteers, reserve team leagues, the stresses of moving between regional and national league rugby, social rugby, the season structure, and the relationship between schools and clubs.
• “Describe how Scottish Rugby will interpret Amateurism at each level of the game.
Flockhart concluded by urging all club members to read the document when it is published and “understand the details of what we are doing”.
“There are always misunderstandings and some apprehensions when change of this magnitude is contemplated,” he added. “The key is not to act on speculation or rumour but to understand and debate the facts of the Agenda 3 changes on an informed basis. There will, of course, be the opportunity to ask questions at the AGM in early August.
“Money has and will continue to cascade down to local clubs as we promised in 2014.
“Agenda 3 is delivering on promises we made, having listened to you across meetings, roadshows, conferences and forums over the last three years.”Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 3)