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Last Updated: Monday, 3 November, 2003, 11:08 GMT
Jeffrey blasts SRU
Scotland were severely tested by Fiji
Scotland were severely tested by Fiji
Former international John Jeffrey says poor management is dragging Scottish rugby to its lowest ebb.

The national side could only stumble into the quarter-finals of the World Cup with a narrow win over Fiji, while Scotland's repesentatives in the Celtic League have started the season badly.

And Jeffrey insists the restructuring of the game north of the border as well as the introduction of professional rugby is to blame.

Now he is calling for the Scottish Rugby Union to be modernised and questioned the appointment of coach Ian McGeechan as director of rugby.

"These last couple of weeks have been the lowest point I can remember, with the national team performing dismally against France, the three districts all losing and then Scotland scraping home by the skin of their teeth against Fiji," Jeffrey told The Herald newspaper.

"In straightforward terms, the national side is poor, the districts are a flop, the club circuit is a joke, and the SRU committee needs to be modernised, away from the system where the president gets elected by Buggins' turn.

"It also helps nobody bringing in all these foreign sporrans, kilted Kiwis and Australians, and my belief is that the clubs, who are the SRU, have to get together and halt the slide through their own efforts."

He added: "If our leading players have to go to England to get professional contracts, so be it, because it didn't do our football team any harm in the 1980s.

We are trying to solve the problem from the top downward rather than the bottom up
John Jeffrey
"The clubs have been left high and dry, but what they shouldn't forget is they have the power to change things.

"They could start by demanding an explanation as to why Ian McGeechan's appointment was rubber-stamped, despite the fact his star is on the wane.

"Why wasn't the post advertised, as it would have been in any other branch of business?

"I have the greatest respect for Ian and Jim Telfer and what they have achieved in the past, but good coaches don't necessarily make good administrators and we are reaping that harvest of that philosophy at the moment."

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