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SRU chief executive heavily criticised by 'change' group

A PRESSURE group committed to changing the face of rugby in Scotland last night registered its frustration over its dealings with the sport's governing body.

The Change for Scottish Rugby body was set up earlier in the year as a protest over dismal recent performances by the national team and the way the sport is being governed. But they say they have come up against a brick wall, alleging intransigence on the part of SRU officials and Dodson in particular.

In the latest update on their page, a spokesman said: "We have been quiet on the outside but busy trying to make meaningful inroads on the inside.

"Frustration at the governance of the game in Scotland is the foundation. Far from becoming more at ease with the SRU as we have progressed, that frustration has only increased. From our surveying of the public, we have a guide to what the general public want in key areas of the game. So we tried to speak to people inside the regime to see what they think. So far not one of them wanted to be named because, according to one, 'the SRU will shun anyone who speaks negatively about their actions'.

"Many people have also commented to us that the Scottish Rugby twitter feed has blocked them because they made a negative comment. When speaking to the SRU ourselves we have had to hold back and at times refrain from telling them our honest thoughts as we were scared they would refuse future dialogue. It makes a mockery of the word 'Union'. Instead of admitting they are doing a bad job, they refute all accusations and bury their heads in the sand.

"For example, we explained, and have shown, that the Scottish rugby public want a change to the 'project player policy'. Instead of accepting this, Dodson simply said 'we only actually have two players on that policy: William Nel and Cornel Du Preez'. [Yet] the Toolis ­brothers, Ollie Atkins and Grayson Hart are all Scottish heritage project players."

The spokesman added: "We simply ask why businessmen are leading our sport. They have stabilised the bank balance but set our game back more than a decade. We get many emails and speak to many people with examples of the disheartening choices the SRU make. We will continue to fight for change but, right now, we are frustrated. Scottish Rugby is full of yes men; the people who pander to the SRU's needs are the people who stay in the system.."

A Murrayfield insider said: "We remain open to dialogue with any Scottish rugby supporter, irrespective of whether or not they agree with the shape of our policies.

"We are certainly not in the business of blocking contributors to our Twitter site in terms of opinion. We would, though, take that course of action should anyone resort to abusive or unsuitable language and content."

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