Scottish Rugby announce performance review
March 31, 2011
Scottish Rugby chief executive Gordon McKie believes the national side's recent poor showing in the Six Nations needed investigating © PA Photos
Scottish Rugby chief executive Gordon McKie is to conduct a performance review encompassing all levels of the game in the Scotland following a series of "unacceptable" results for the national team and the country's two professional sides.
Scotland finished fifth in this year's Six Nations with just one win to their name - against Italy - having entered the tournament with high expectations following five wins in six Tests at the end of 2010. Edinburgh and Glasgow have also struggled on the domestic stage and are are languising at the wrong end of the Magners League with no chance of qualifying for the play-offs.
McKie has stressed his support for Scotland head coach Andy Robinson, who is contracted until December 2015, but believes the performance level of all three sides warrants a detailed review - the first since 2007.
"The last three months have been bitterly disappointing after what occurred last year," he said. "It's incumbent on me, Andy and others to do something about that. Together we have a resolve and a determination to tackle some areas that are not right and there's room for improvement.
"Over the next couple of months or so we're going to look at all things rugby, performance rugby, particularly, to look at how we can do things better. Come May, June, hopefully, we'll come out with a vision which is achievable and is realistic and will ultimately contribute to more regularly winning teams."
Robinson yesterday opted to withdraw Scotland captain Alastair Kellock, John Barclay and Richie Gray from consideration for Glasgow selection and Ross Ford and Allan Jacobsen from Edinburgh duties to preserve the players for this autumn's Rugby World Cup.
The Scotland head coach was able to make that decision as the SRU have control over the Edinburgh and Glasgow teams and players. However, McKie stressed this control is not exerted as strongly as it might be and the professional teams must perform better.
"We treat them largely at arms length," he added. "We as an organisation maybe don't use the pro teams to our full advantage. The excuse-making culture that's been allowed to develop needs to be addressed because they've not performed and I do not believe that's down to money."
Each side has a budget of £5million and are responsible for their own player recruitment. However, high-profile international players have departed in recent seasons or are poised to depart, something McKie insisted is not solely down to finance.
Dan Parks and Kelly Brown left Glasgow for Cardiff Blues and Saracens, respectively, last summer, while Max Evans is to leave the Warriors for Castres after this year's World Cup and Richie Vernon is to join Sale Sharks.
McKie said the void left by Parks and Brown allowed Ruaridh Jackson and Rob Harley to emerge as international prospects. "We operate in a competitive market. We have to be realistic, players moving on is frequently good for them and it's good for us," added McKie.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry