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Semi-pro set-up will not entertain 'foreigners'

Scottish rugby officials are set to introduce a "no foreigners" rule when they expand the top layer of the domestic league into a semi-professional competition.

Fed up with years of being exploited by players only interested in what they can get, they will tie the planned club investments into developing homegrown talent.

"It is not going to be for foreign players, it is about developing Scottish players," promised Ian Rankin, the new president of the Scottish Rugby Union at the official launch of the new club season. "The Academies are only for Scots players. There is no way any of that money will be for outside help."

The details of how the union will plough money into clubs to allow them to set up a semi-professional tier were revealed at the recent annual meeting. The first stage will be a £400,000 investment this year in club facilities. The clubs would act as both a stepping stone and a testing ground between the new academies and the full-time game.

"A lot of money could have been, should have been, better invested," said Rankin.

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