IF the Scottish Rugby Union were to introduce a policy of charging women attending matches at Murrayfield an extra £10 to the price of admission there would be understandable outrage. But that is the effect of the SRU’s ban on admittance to the ground with a bag larger than A5 size. As a visiting female supporter at Saturday’s game against Wales I felt discriminated against for carrying a normal-size handbag. In the apparent interests of security I was forced to hand over my bag, which I have taken to many sporting venues without incident, for a “fee” of £10 or be denied entry.

The overwhelming majority of the many hundreds of people in the long queue to retrieve their bags after the match were of course women caught out by this overly restrictive and unnecessary policy. If security were the real issue why am I able to take my handbag on to an aircraft but not into a rugby match? It left a sour taste with me and many of those disgruntled women I spoke to that this was more about a grubby money-making exercise than any real consideration for the safety of spectators.

Everyone understands the need for proper security measures at large venues but only at Murrayfield does the A5 restriction apply, allowing entry to sporrans but not handbags. It is a sad irony that on the day after International Women’s Day the SRU operates a policy which has the effect of actively discouraging women supporters from attending matches at Murrayfield, leaving them feeling discriminated against and ripped off by the experience. At a time when women’s participation in sport, whether as spectators or players is being actively embraced this policy smacks of the days when rugby was run by committees of men in blazers in smoke-filled rooms. Those days are past now and in the past they must remain. Perhaps those very men should urgently consult with those who are most affected and quickly bring a swift end to this prejudicial and nonsensical policy.

Gaynor McGruer,

Oak Lodge, Trellech Cross, Monmouth.