Scottish Rugby and London Scottish can confirm that a revised player development pathway will operate for the forthcoming season 2016/17.
Up to eight players will be seconded from Scotland to continue their development under the guidance of the Head of Scotland Age-Grade programme, Sean Lineen, who will continue in his part-time role with London Scottish.
The arrangements in place since January this year will now operate on a more modest and achievable scale better suited to the support available from London Scottish and will build on the success of the trial last season.
Sir David Reid, Chairman of London Scottish commented:
“We fully recognise that the concerns expressed by Scottish Rugby’s Board over the financial commitment and infrastructure needed from London Scottish under the previous arrangements were entirely legitimate.”
“London Scottish will now take full financial responsibility for its areas identified in the partnership, which are designed to enhance the performance environment in which London Scottish players can train and prepare.”
Rod Lynch, President of the club added,
“We regret that our recent statements and media coverage of them may have cast a cloud over such an exciting opportunity and are grateful that Scottish Rugby was still willing to continue a dialogue with us. We are now looking to move this mutually beneficial opportunity forward and will provide young players with exposure to Championship rugby and its associated benefits.”
“Championship Rugby is a challenging environment commercially and we acknowledge that the concerns Scottish Rugby’s Board voiced were valid. I am delighted we have now been able to address these.”
Mark Dodson, Chief Executive of Scottish Rugby, said:
“We see this as a 12-month relationship at this time. We want to move this initiative forward to continue to give identified Scottish players the opportunity to develop into international players of the future.”
“We had to satisfy ourselves that the club could deliver a performance environment suitable to enable talented young players to develop, before we committed further. We are pleased that the club has addressed our concerns and are now satisfied that the reduced scale of the programme matches the support the club can provide.”