Keith Robertson, the Scotland grand slam winner, has urged the Scottish Rugby Union to sell the country's professional teams on to private investors.

Robertson also told The Herald that he had spoken to several potential backers of a third pro club, which would be based in the Borders, but claimed this would only come to fruition if the SRU was not directly involved.

The governing body closed down the Reivers in 2007, partly as a consequence of the Galashiels-based team's failure to attract more than 2000 supporters, and partly because they wanted to plough extra money into Glasgow and Edinburgh. However, Robertson believes that the union must embrace radical change, not least because he argues that Scotland's emerging players will never be properly utilised while they only have access to two professional organisations.

"We have as much young talent here in the Borders as anywhere else in Scotland, so it's a crying shame that anybody who wants to pursue a professional career has to move to Glasgow or Edinburgh," said Robertson.

"Basically, I know that there are people in the Borders who are interested in getting involved in funding a professional team, but they will only do so if they are in control and are not having to take orders from Murrayfield. They won't give their cash to the SRU, it's as simple as that, but they would be happy to deal with the clubs in the south [of Scotland] to make it happen, and what we need here is a fundamental change, because there has never been any genuine Borders team in the professional era.

"What we had before was a Borders side in name, but there were hardly any Borderers playing for it and the people down here aren't stupid. They didn't get behind it because they realised that all the important decisions were being made at Murrayfield. But that wouldn't be the case if the new club was run by the Borders for the Borders and the owners had the same sort of relationship as the English clubs have with the RFU."

Robertson insisted that radical decisions had to be implemented and added that even the Welsh authorities are facing increasing difficulties in funding professionalism.

"Their teams are struggling and I was speaking to some of the Cardiff Blues people who came up to Edinburgh last week [for the Heineken Cup] and they were making comparisons between themselves and a sinking ship," said Robertson.

"Their crowd numbers are down significantly and there is a lot of discussion about the best way to move forward. We need to have a similar debate in Scotland and be prepared to come up with some original ideas to move beyond the situation which we have at the moment, which is unsustainable."