rugby round-up

Bryan Redpath, the 33-times capped former Scotland captain, has ended speculation that he

was about to leave French club Narbonne by signing for English Zurich Premiership side Sale.

Unlike other members of the Scots contingent who played in the French elite league last season, Redpath has not returned to his native land. The ex-Bourgoine duo of Mark McKenzie and James McLaren are currently on tour in Canada with Glasgow Caley.

''I had no contact with either superteam,'' said Redpath. ''I think they are both well off for scrum halves, with Andy Nicol at Glasgow and Graeme Burns with the Reivers.''

Redpath teams up, by co-incidence, at Sale with Canadian prop Jon Thiel, who joined Narbonne after the World Cup.

''Jon was no longer needed at Narbonne but I could have stayed,'' said Redpath. ''However I have two children and as a family we need security. Narbonne cut the salaries for two months last season. Who is to say the same will not happen this season? The resultant constant talk about money is something I can do without.''

Redpath seemed set to go to Harlequins until until Sale's Scottish owner, Brian Kennedy, stepped in. Redpath said: ''The Harlequins' offer was very tempting and the club were very nice to deal with. I can say nothing bad of them, and money certainly was not an issue.''

''However, Brian helped me over my contract at Narbonne, and he will help me regarding work when my rugby career is over. That persuaded me to join Sale. I am also impressed with his plans for the club's future.''

Redpath has signed a two-year contract with an option for a third and is prepared to end his career at Sale, who fared poorly last season until Kennedy and his Genesis Communications partner, Ian Blackhurst, took over.

''It is a big task,'' he acknowledged. ''What we need is a more professional individual approach and the collective will to improve.''

Redpath will make his Sale debut in Saturday's home friendly against Swansea. He has already trained with the other boys and teamed up with his half back partner, Niki Little, who is fresh from playing with Fiji in the Epson Pacific Ring tournament. ''He has good skills and we share the same attitude about keepng the ball alive.''

Redpath declined a place in the Scotland summer tour of New Zealand, but has not ruled out an international return.

''I preferred to play for Narbonne in the French championship play-offs. I don't know if I am blackballed by Murrayfield, but I have spoken to Iain McGeechan in the last few days.'' At that, his tone turned brusque and he declared it was time to go and train.

Kennedy declared himself excited by the signing. ''We have now brought in eight fresh internationalists at various levels for the new season.''

Sale also have a new coach in Glen Ross from Waikato and conditioner Marty Hulme of Wigan rugby league side. Season ticket sales are up by 40 per cent.

Of his personal touch in persuading Redpath to move to Sale in preference to Harlequins, he declared: ''We recognise rugby is a people business.''

nAs the Edinburgh Reivers prepare for Heineken European Cup and Celtic League business at their pre-season camp at Bath University, team manager Ian Rankin is already noticing an increased commitment.

He said: ''Last season there was a lack of alternatives in certain positions. But we have now added four experienced professionals and four of the most talented young amateurs in Scotland.''

nROLAND Reid was in fine form for Glasgow Caledonian Reds in their 55-14 victory against Pacific Coast Grizzlies at Wolfson Field, Vancouver, yesterday.

He opened the scoring from Ian McInroy's pass in the first minute, then Rowan Shephed ran onto his own chip ahead for the second try, converted by Mark McKenzie.

Craig Sangster made the break to put James Craig in and the Reds kept up the pressure, with Fraser Stott going over from a ruck.

Four tries in the first quarter had the Reds comfortably ahead, and with the Grizzlies replying with only three penalties, Reid's second try made the score 29-9.

Donnie Macfadyen's pass put Shepherd in for his second try two minutes into the second half, Mckenzie converting, and then McInroy's solo effort 10 minutes later made the Reds uncatchable. On the hour, McKenzie helped himself to a long-range effort.

The match ended with Reid's third try, Dave Piddrahiea's try the only time the Grizzlies breached the Reds' defence.

nScotland are fighting against a strenuous playing schedule in the Student World Cup in Rome. They are one of three teams being asked to take part in a play-off only two days after completing the pool stages of the competition, and since last Saturday that will

represent three games in five days.