In the first ever three-way vote for the post of President of the Scottish Rugby Union, George Jack, former rector of Selkirk High School and ex Edinburgh District and Leith Accies hooker, won a dramatic contest. There was tension in the first round of voting as Jack polled 57 votes and Peter Brown and Jim Stevenson 56 votes each. In the first ever three-way vote for the post of President of the Scottish Rugby Union, George Jack, former rector of Selkirk High School and ex Edinburgh District and Leith Accies hooker, won a dramatic contest.
There was tension in the first round of voting as Jack polled 57 votes and Peter Brown and Jim Stevenson 56 votes each.
The two candidates tied on 56 votes were then to draw a card to determine who moved forward to the second round of voting, with the individual drawing the higher card successful.
At that juncture, however, the former Scotland captain Brown announced that he was withdrawing from the process and invited delegates to choose between Jack and Stevenson.
In the second round of voting, Jack won 91 votes to the tally of 75 for Stevenson, the 50-year-old who has fulfiflled every conceivable role for his club, Cambuslang.
Earlier in the evening, SRU Chief Executive Gordon McKie announced that Scottish Rugby has agreed to pay 100% of club accident insurance premiums with effect from the start of the forthcoming season.
“This will help our clubs to save a six figure sum, money which I’m sure you can put to good use in growing the game,” he told delegates.
McKie said that, subject to audit, he expects the Union to report a “near break even” position when it unveils its annual accounts later in the year.
He hailed the relaxation on the sale of alcohol announced by the new SNP Holyrood administration and praised his staff for their partnership work with clubs which had helped to grow the numbers playing the game – a 7% increase in the adult game and 19% in the youth sector.
Outgoing president Andy Irvine spoke warmly of his two years in office and also praised the vibrancy of the club game. Of the last season he said: “We have some great youngsters coming through in this country and we deserve to give an awful lot of credit to the coaches that work with them. What we have to do is when these kids get to 18 or 19 we have to hang on to them (in the game).”
A motion to reintroduce the office of vice-president did not attract sufficient support; a motion to allow discretion to the Championship Committee to vary the number of permitted replacements up to a maximum of seven, at different levels of the game, was carried; the championship rule that placed a limit of two non-European players was deleted.
Within the Cup competition, clubs voted to allow regionalisation up until the last 64 in the Cup.
Following the AGM, newly elected President, George Jack, was elected to chair the Scottish Rugby Council.
In his post as Chair of the Council, Jack (Leith) now becomes a member of the Scottish Rugby Board.
Malcolm Gillies (Lismore) was elected Vice Chair of the Council whilst Jim Fleming (Boroughmuir) was returned by the Council to serve a second term on the Scottish Rugby Board.
With the election of Jack as President, a vacancy now arises on the Council in respect of the Edinburgh Regional League representative.
A bye election will be held in August to fill this vacancy.