Scottish league revamp endorsed at Murrayfield meeting

By Jim MasonBBC Scotland rugby reporter
President Ian McLaughlan is joined at Murrayfield by outgoing Scottish Rugby president Allan Munro (left) and interim chief executive Jock Millican (right) ahead of the agm
McLaughlin (centre) was unopposed as he was re-elected as president

Scottish Rugby's first annual general meeting since the departure of chief executive Gordon McKie was a largely benign affair.

Those in attendance expecting a meeting dominated by politics and questions on governance were to be disappointed.

The majority of time at the Murrayfield gathering was taken up with questions relating to the restructuring of the domestic league season.

And a substantial majority voted to change the present system.

This will mean that by season 2012-2013 the number of national leagues will be reduced from six to two, with the clubs below playing in divisions with a more regional emphasis.

The number of teams in each league will be reduced from 12 to 10, thereby shortening the season.

The cup competition will also run on regional lines, with the move designed to cut clubs' operating costs and benefit the well-being of players and volunteers.

The AGM was also the last for chairman Allan Munro. The new man at the helm will be Sir Moir Lockhead former FirstGroup chief executive.

Ian McLauchlan was re-elected unopposed as president while ex-international scrum-half Alan Lawson was elected to the post of vice-president.

An overwhelming majority also voted for the creation of a Scottish rugby museum to be housed at Murrayfield.

Speaking after the meeting, interim chief executive, Jock Millican was happy with the outcomes, saying: "There were a lot of good points put forward with a lot of passion and a lot of constructive points for the good of the game.

"The conclusion has been a positive move forward for Scottish rugby particularly on the question of league reconstruction."

Incoming chairman Lockhead thought that the level of debate during the AGM could only help to improve Scottish rugby.

"The passing of the motion on league reconstruction will see the game change, and change for the better," he told BBC Scotland.

"That's got to be good for the game: for the people involved in rugby, both at club level, at player level and at supporter level. That's really what we've got to focus on."