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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 September 2005, 11:51 GMT 12:51 UK
Irvine wants an Aberdeen pro-team
SRU president Andy Irvine
Andy Irvine wants to resolve Borders' under-funding
New Scottish Rugby Union president Andy Irvine says he wants a professional rugby side to be playing out of Aberdeen within three years.

He hopes that a fourth Scottish team will enter the Celtic League once the SRU's new regime resolves present financial difficulties.

"I am 100% in favour of having a north presence in the pro game," he told the Aberdeen Press & Journal.

"We should, at the very least, be aiming to put a team together."

Scotland has three professional sides funded by the SRU - Border Reivers, Edinburgh Gunners and Glasgow Warriors.
It is a big city with a strong rugby following
Andy Irvine

The structure mirrors the old, pre-professional districts with the exception of the Caledonian area.

And Irvine's ambition flies in the face of reports before his arrival in June suggesting that the SRU was even considering reducing the number of sides it funds due to its financial problems.

"The Borders is underfunded in comparison to the two other Scottish teams in the Celtic League, Glasgow and Edinburgh, but the budgets for this year were in place before the new regime arrived at Murrayfield," he said.

"My first aim will be to rectify that for next year's budget and, the following year, if our finances are in order, I will be pushing for putting a Caledonian team together.

"Whether that would be in Perth, Inverness or Aberdeen remains to be seen, but my personal preference is Aberdeen."

The SRU was pleased with the response to taking Scotland's match against the Barbarians to Aberdeen Football Club's Pittodrie Stadium.

"It is a big city with a strong rugby following, as we saw in May at Pittodrie," said Irvine.

"In my opinion, Aberdeen would give the team the strongest chance of succeeding."

Irvine added that the SRU would be keen to take more international matches to Aberdeen.


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