Begbie to spearhead development of grassroots rugby

Scottish Rugby is delighted to announce the appointment of Sheila Begbie MBE to the role of Director of Domestic Rugby.

Begbie – who has operated in the role on an interim basis since May – joined Scottish Rugby from the Scottish FA in 2014, taking on a newly-created position of Head of Women’s Rugby and charged with growing the strength of the women’s game.

Her new remit will focus on the health and development of Scottish Rugby’s grassroots, amateur game (men and women, boys and girls) and the delivery of Scottish Rugby’s ‘Agenda 3’ – the union's club sustainability strategy.

Sheila Begbie said: “I’m really looking forward to working in the domestic game. There are great volunteers and some fantastic work going on in clubs and schools up and down the country.

“We have a great opportunity to develop vibrant rugby communities and I'm looking forward to the journey and to making a difference.”

Under her leadership the number of women and girls’ teams increased by 66% (130 in 2014 to 214 in 2017), leading to the recent and successful launch of the #BeTheBestYou campaign to capitalise on the sport’s growing profile and popularity.

At an elite level, female players entered Scottish Rugby’s performance pathway when the BT Sport Academy was inaugurated in 2015, with the first female player, Jade Konkel, becoming a full-time professional a year later.

Two further players – Chloe Rollie and Lisa Thomson – joined Konkel earlier this month, with all three set to ply their trade in the French Top 8 thanks to a new partnership with Lille Metropole, much of which and more helping Scotland Women achieve their highest Six Nations Championship finish since 2010 (4th).

Scottish Rugby Chief Executive, Mark Dodson, added: “Sheila [Begbie] has done a fantastic job since joining Scottish Rugby three years ago and we’re delighted to have someone of her calibre step into such a vital position in the Scottish game.

"I’m sure she’ll bring her energy and dynamism to the amateur game across the country.”

Scottish Rugby’s Director of Rugby, Scott Johnson, added: “This is a wonderful appointment for a very, very talented individual who has continued the great work she did with Scottish football with an outstanding contribution to women's rugby in this country. Her experience and influence is now set to benefit Scotland's grassroots game as a whole."