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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 April 2006, 11:41 GMT 12:41 UK
Call to tackle rugby tourney fear
Simon Danielli
Fears have been expressed over the Border Reivers' future
Scottish Borders Council says the region cannot afford to miss out on staging IRB World Sevens matches.

Leader David Parker is backing moves to bring a round of the prestigious competition to Melrose next year.

Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) debt problems have prompted fears the region might miss out and could also lose its professional team, the Border Reivers.

Mr Parker believes the competition can still be brought to the Borders despite the SRU's financial situation.

"It would be a massive boost to the Borders and certainly a huge boost to the Melrose economy and the economy of the region," he said.

"There is no doubt that this event would bring in significant funding and over a period of time would be worth many millions of pounds to the Borders' economy."

SRU chiefs are currently looking at ways to tackle debts which have topped 20m.

Concerns emerged that the Scottish sevens team could be scrapped - effectively ending hopes of hosting the IRB World Sevens.

I am confident that despite the SRU's financial position the case and the business case for this event is so strong that we cannot afford to let this opportunity pass us by
David Parker
SBC leader

There were also fears that the Border Reivers professional team might be axed, but this was dismissed as "pure speculation".

Mr Parker said he believed that despite the SRU's debt issues the tournament should still come to the Borders.

"If St Andrews is the home of golf then there is no doubt Melrose is the home of rugby sevens," he said.

"There's a real opportunity here for the Borders if we can secure this event."

The council leader said the authority would work with the local enterprise company and Event Scotland to bring the IRB World Sevens to the region.

"We certainly believe we can do everything possible to secure the event," said Mr Parker.

"I am confident that despite the SRU's financial position the case and the business case for this event is so strong that we cannot afford to let this opportunity pass us by."


SEE ALSO:
Fears for rugby tournament plans
24 Apr 06 |  South of Scotland
Irvine aims to stay in SRU post
31 Mar 06 |  Scottish
SRU boss aiming to keep pro teams
14 Mar 06 |  International
SRU scraps director of rugby post
06 Sep 05 |  Scottish


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