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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 April 2006, 10:20 GMT 11:20 UK
Rugby contest hope on the agenda
Simon Danielli
Funding partners are being sought for the Border Reivers
Hopes of bringing a prestigious rugby sevens tournament to Melrose are in the balance after Scottish rugby chiefs announced plans to tackle 23m debts.

Talks will take place in the next few days between the Scottish Rugby Union and IRB World Sevens oganisers.

The SRU's debt could force it to scrap the national Sevens team, which competes on the IRB circuit.

Such a move could see the withdrawal of a proposal from the IRB to bring the lucrative competition to the Borders.

It is estimated the tournament could bring millions into the local economy.

The current IRB sevens season is coming to a close with tournaments in London and Paris.

Other venues this season have included Dubai, Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

The planned cuts have also cast doubt over the future of the professional rugby team the Border Reivers.

If external funding cannot be found the status of the team, and others in Edinburgh and Glasgow, is to be reviewed.

'No Alternative'

Chief executive Gordon McKie announced the SRU's intention to seek "joint ventures" with business partners to keep the pro-rugby teams alive.

Mr McKie said: "Scottish Rugby has lost over 20m in nine of the last 11 years, so it's no surprise that our budget priorities now dictate this long overdue action by the board."


SEE ALSO:
Call to tackle rugby tourney fear
27 Apr 06 |  South of Scotland
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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