John McGuigan, the new Chair of Scottish Rugby Limited, issued an apology at the annual general meeting of the governing body to the family and partner of Siobhan Cattigan.

The Scotland international died in tragic circumstances two years ago, and there is still the possibility of legal action by her parents against Scottish Rugby.

McGuigan’s statement stopped short of an admission of liability by Scottish Rugby, but it did represent a distinct change of approach from the attitude previously taken by SRU chief executive Mark Dodson. “As the new Chair of SRL I wish to apologise wholeheartedly for any anguish we caused Siobhan during her time with Scottish Rugby and to her family and loved ones following her passing,” McGuigan said.

“Albeit Scottish Rugby did not intend to cause distress to the family through our actions, it’s clear we should have managed this tragic situation better. We have listened and heeded the lessons and, in Siobhan’s memory, commit to making changes to ensure we are a better organisation in the future. 

“When Siobhan was with the Scotland squad her parents told me there were some situations when we, as Scottish Rugby, should have supported her better. They told me Siobhan had specifically mentioned medical and welfare care, as well as how information around selection was communicated. 

“During my meetings with Siobhan’s family we discussed the range of actions we could take together to maintain Siobhan’s memory. This discussion is ongoing.”

The agm itself - in which Dodson no longer sat on the top table - took an hour and three quarters and was relatively peaceful. Although Scottish Rugby recorded a £10.5million loss during the last financial year, Dodson told the assembled club representatives that “your union is on a sound financial basis”.