Here’s a sight you won’t often see in newspapers – a journalist saying he’s sorry.

I’ll start this column with an apology, because I made a mistake last week in asserting that there was no Scot on the list of referees and assistant referees for the 2020 Six Nations, when in fact Mike Adamson had actually been selected to be an assistant referee for one match.

I apologise to Mike for that mistake, but if the SRU think that getting one assistant referee appointed for one match is some sort of vindication for their refereeing system then I have to disagree. With all due respect, where are the Jim Flemings and Allan Hosies of yesteryear?

One probable future top-grade ref is Hollie Davidson, the former scrum-half who was so unlucky with injuries but has since proved an excellent recruit to the refereeing ranks.

Others to watch out for are Ruaridh Campbell, Keith Allen, and Sam Grove-White, while I am told Mike Adamson has all the attributes to make it to very the top as a referee, and as he has only just turned 36, he has plenty of time to do so. But if Scotland can only get one assistant’s appointment for one match in the Six Nations, I have to say we are far behind, and there’s no sign of any Scot making it soon to World Rugby’s International Referees Panel, despite John Jeffrey being chair of the selection committee. Oh go on John, work a flanker and get Adamson in…

The problem, as always with the SRU, is that Scotland has never really fully caught up with professionalism since it formally arrived in rugby union in 1995. That was a fundamental year in rugby, not least because of the World Cup held that year in South Africa.

Ask me what I was doing last week and I probably couldn’t tell you. Ask me what I was doing in June 1995 and I could probably tell you to the hour as I was totally hooked on what I still consider to be the best World Cup of them all. It was a tournament that changed the sport, and in my opinion that has not always been for the better.

Yet change rugby it did, and 25 years on I just want to take a mostly fond look back at a magnificent tournament that happened in a hugely political context and became remembered as much as for what happened off the pitch as on it.

I will leave the advent of professionalism to another time, because that was the biggest happening of 1995, but the World Cup finals were simply immense and hanselled the arrival of one superstar and a whole new way of playing the game which can be summed up in one name – Jonah Lomu.

Having finished fourth in 1991, and with a relatively settled team – half the squad had been at the 1991 World Cup – Scotland were expected to do well except for the altitude and heat, and they notched up a record score against Ivory Coast and hammered Tonga before slipping up against France, who they had beaten in Paris in the Five Nations. That loss put them into the quarter final against New Zealand and the giant winger Lomu, who had shown in the group stages just what a human battering ram he was.

Scotland actually managed to contain Lomu for most of the match. Didn’t stop him scoring, though, and the All Blacks – they played in white that day – were worthy of their 48-30 win.

England had been a trifle fortunate to win their quarter final against Australia but could do nothing about Lomu when they met New Zealand in the semi-final. The big fellow scored four tries as England succumbed 29-45, and who can forget Lomu running right over the top of Mike Catt?

Meanwhile South Africa had advanced to the final, roared on by a passionate crowd inspired by the example of President Nelson Mandela who backed the Boks despite their previous existence as the symbol of apartheid – the real story of that World Cup.

On June 24, 1995, at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, Joel Stransky’s drop goal in extra time made the host nation the 15-12 winners of a match which was not for the faint-hearted or lovers of flair. It was brutal at times, but the scenes when Mandela presented the trophy to Francois Pienaar were beautiful and are rightly now etched in history.

The signs were there, however, and no amount of gilding the lily can disguise the fact that rugby was changing. It was already becoming a game for huge muscular men trying to be like Lomu, and professionalism a short while later only accelerated the process.

It was a great tournament, but sadly the last of rugby union as we knew it.