Glasgow District Rugby Union has announced an ambitious action plan to bring further success to representative rugby in the west of Scotland.

Glasgow has thus become the first of the four Scottish districts to spell out its goals and how it proposes to attain them.

In its mission statement Glasgow DRU has made it clear that current fitness and strength levels are inadequate for top flight competition and that the player base must be increased even if that means bringing in more players from overseas.

The document (made public yesterday) lays out what Glasgow wants to achieve and the manner in which it should do so. The document also talks about identifying and then cultivating young talent in both schools and clubs.

But while the action plan calls for greater effort in the future, there is also praise for what was achieved in the Heineken European Cup this season where Glasgow realised their goal of winning a place in the quarter finals thanks to a victory over Swansea at Scotstoun and home and away wins against Ulster.

Glasgow, however, came unstuck against Leicester in the quarter-finals as David Jordan, the chief executive of GDRU, acknowledges.

''The result against Leicester told us that we have still much to do. We were found wanting in a number of departments, particularly our overall fitness and strength. It is vital that we recognise where out weaknesses are,'' said Jordan.

On what is a contentious subject the authors of the plan state: ''The Glasgow and District Rugby Union will be aggressively looking beyond Scotland to identify players to enhance and improve the performance of the team. Priority will be given to identifying players with Scottish eligibility.

''The district will also take full advantage of the use of two non-EU international players.''

This season Glasgow's performance in Europe was undoubtedly improved by the presence of stand-off Tommy Hayes and fellow Cook Islander Mike Beckham, brought into the district squad in a bid to strengthen the team.

Glasgow coach Keith Robertson believes that there are ''a few players in New Zealand'' who would qualify to play for Scotland but adds: ''Don't restrict the search to New Zealand.''

Robertson, however, does not advocate an extensive importation programme. ''Look, there are some very good players here. They just have to work on strength and fitness programmes,'' he said.

A poor level of muscular development, a problem which is not unique to Glasgow rugby as Scotland's recent international matches against southern hemisphere countries only too readily illustrate, is specifically earmarked for special attention.

Within the next two months Glasgow DRU intends to invest in a power-weights facility at Scotstoun in association with Glasgow City Council to provide a specialist weight training unit. The plan goes on to say: ''The GDRU will utilise the services of a weight training specialist. Every squad member will be given one-to-one training and will work to individually tailored programmes.''

In other areas of physical conditioning the plan envisages that there will be a player appraisal programme. ''It will be based on setting individual training, fitness and dietary targets. Players will be expected to do training outwith normal squad sessions and be responsible for achieving the targets set,'' says the action plan.

Glasgow's initial squad of players for next season will be selected next month and between then and March will be the start of what the plan calls the ''Elite Development Programme'' that will concentrate on the players who ''have the physical and mental ability to represent Glasgow and the Scottish Rugby Union.''

''This is the key to the long-term success of Scottish rugby,'' says the action plan which makes it clear that better identification of talent and an increase in playing numbers are priorities in the next few years.

In the short term Glasgow hope to gain much from their Thistles tour to New Zealand in June and July. This will involve a group of players selected from those who have represented Glasgow Schools, Glasgow under-18s and Glasgow under-19s this season.

Glasgow will send eight players from the senior squad to New Zealand between May and July.

q Belfast beat Edinburgh University 36-18 in the first Students European Rugby Championships at Cardiff yesterday.