Sports Minister Supports The Back Scotland Campaign

The Scottish Government and Scottish Rugby joined forces today to support the Back Scotland campaign for the Rugby World Cup. In a visit to Murrayfield today, Stewart Maxwell MSP, Minister for Communities and Sport, threw the Scottish Government’s weight fully behind Scottish Rugby’s Back Scotland campaign.The Scottish Government and Scottish Rugby joined forces today to support the Back Scotland campaign for the Rugby World Cup.

In a visit to Murrayfield today, Stewart Maxwell MSP, Minister for Communities and Sport, threw the Scottish Government’s weight fully behind Scottish Rugby’s Back Scotland campaign.

He was joined by Colin Thomson, Scottish Rugby’s Head of Community Rugby, who explained how the Community game is contributing to the campaign. The goal is to bring the Rugby World Cup alive for boys and girls and encourage schools and clubs to get behind their national team.

Stewart Maxwell said: “I want to wish the Scotland team all the very best of luck in the Rugby World Cup.
“Every member of the squad will have been training hard for months in preparation for the tournament and I know how eager they’ll be to take on the best from other rugby nations around the world. The whole country will be willing them on.”

Colin Thomson added: “Any World Cup event generates huge amounts of media interest, and it is important that we in rugby use this opportunity to raise the profile of our game during this time - not just to unearth the future generation of Scotland internationals.

“It is important, too, that we give children the chance to participate in sport and emphasise the positive role that sport can play in their lives as well as highlighting the sporting role models that we have representing Scotland at this time.”

Two 10-year-old pupils from nearby Roseburn Primary School, Lindsay Ferry and Matthew Gaffney, played their part in promoting the campaign, surrounded by hundreds of Back Scotland mini rugby balls and the now iconic Sean Lamont Back Scotland ‘Saltire’ poster.

Matthew Gaffney said: “I play at Murrayfield Wanderers at outside centre and my favourite Scotland player is Rob Dewey. I hope to get to Murrayfield on Tuesday to see the Scotland team in action against Romania.”

Lindsay Ferry said: “I watched Scotland play Portugal and really enjoyed it. I want to wish the Scotland team all the best against Romania and hope they do well.”

“Saltire Sean”, as the World Cup poster has become known, is the centrepiece of Scottish Rugby’s campaign to raise awareness throughout the country that the Rugby World Cup is coming to town. Scotland play Romania at Murrayfield on Tuesday 18 September and New Zealand follow on Sunday 23 September.

The Back Scotland campaign aims to galvanise the nation behind the team, as well as create a legacy from the Rugby World Cup that will recruit and retain young rugby players across the country. This will impact on Scotland’s rugby communities in several ways:
- Over 50 Mini Rugby World Cups being run across Scotland by the Scottish Rugby development team.
- 50,000 Back Scotland/wall planner posters to be distributed across the country through Scottish Rugby’s Regional Development Networks.
- 10,000 Back Scotland soft mini-rugby balls to be distributed across the country through the Regional Development Networks.
- 10,000 skills cards with top 10 tips where children can have fun trying and practising.
- 10,000 recruitment flyers for clubs to use to promote themselves to new young rugby players at the events.

Tickets are still available for the Scotland v Romania match on 18 September (kick-off 8pm). Prices are as low as ?£9, and bookings can be made online (www.scottishrugby.org) or by phone (0131 346 5100) or visiting the Scottish Rugby Ticket Centre at Murrayfield.

Please note the Scotland v Romania match on 18 September will NOT be shown live on STV and will be broadcast only on digital channel ITV4.