SRU-London Scottish, atto terzo. La partnership parte ma “on a more modest scale”

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Alba Ovale – 2016

Un comunicato stampa della SRU ha annunciato “l’atto terzo” della saga relativa alla partnership tra Scottish Rugby e London Scottish che, dopo l’annuncio di gennaio e la chiusura di fine maggio, sembra pronta a partire ma con un “revised player development pathway” e, soprattutto, come si legge in un passaggio del comunicato, “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.

Un massimo di otto giocatori verrà inviato a Richmond dalla federazione scozzese, in modo che continuino il loro sviluppo sotto la guida esperta di Sean Lineen, Head of Scotland Age-Grade programme, che continuerà quindi nel suo ruolo part-time con gli Exiles.

Interessante notare anche come le parole di Sir David Reid, Chairman dei London Scottish (“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“) e Rod Lynch, presidente del club (“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.”) suonino un pò come una sorta di dietro-front rispetto alle posizioni “intransigenti” di fine maggio, quando la chiusura della trattativa imposta dalla SRU con un secco comunicato stampa aveva lasciato perplessità nella controparte con sede a Londra. Non si parla più, oltretutto, di eventuali giocatori “senior”.

Mark Dodson, Chief Executive della Scottish Rugby, spiega che si è deciso di far ripartire la partnership ma, stavolta, “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.”

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