NEW Scottish Rugby president Ian Barr has encouraged clubs “not to be selfish” as the sport tries to find an exit route from the coronavirus crisis. While Glasgow and Edinburgh return to action on Saturday and the men’s and women’s national teams have a games lined up in the autumn, the date and nature of a return for the domestic game is still uncertain, with the end of October only pencilled in as a possibility.

“For me the big thing is that we get rugby started, and I’m really excited at the prospect that we’re going to get some rugby next weekend with Edinburgh and Glasgow,” said Barr, who succeeded Dee Bradbury as president at yesterday’s annual general meeting of the governing body. “Hopefully we can follow on with clubs further down the line.

“We’ve really got to make sure we can work our way through the continuing challenges surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. I’d call on clubs not to be selfish about their expectations for the coming season. We must continue to put the safety of our players, volunteers and their families first, continue to adhere to government guidance and not over-concentrate on teams competing on a pitch on a Saturday or Sunday.”

Yesterday’s meeting was in fact only the first, virtual half of the agm: it is planned to hold the second half in person when it is deemed safe. Barr, who was vice-president and is a member of Lasswade, chaired the meeting from the start, as Bradbury is recovering from a cardiac arrest.

In the one competitive vote of the day, Colin Rigby of Stewart’s-Melville was elected to succeed Barr as vice-president, beating Keith Wallace of Haddington by 112 votes to 97.

Malcolm Offord of London Scottish was elected as the Scottish Exiles representative on the Scottish Rugby Council, while the election of other representatives from earlier in the year was confirmed: Gerry Tosh of Dundee HSFP (National One), Eric Hugh of GHK (National Two), Bobby Frazer of Murrayfield Wanderers (National Three) and Jim O’Neill of Irvine (Glasgow South region). Royal High Rugby’s application to become a full member of the union was approved.