Rugby: Rankin warns of a rugby player exodus

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Former Edinburgh Rugby coach and manager Ian Rankin is warning of a Premiership player exodus if more top 
performers are not given an 
opportunity in the domestic professional game.

Rankin, now coaching Dundee High, feels quality talent is being ignored in favour of overseas imports.

Edinburgh, in particular, have been cited as examples of the policy being in a position to field 14 non-Scots.

“Having been on both sides of the fence I know there are players like our back row Richie McIvor who would blossom if (only) given a chance.

“Gala’s half backs (George Graham and Lee Millar) are other examples.

“It is credit to these boys that they do not look out of place when opposing professionals in the British and Irish Cup because of the conditioning work they put in, often while working or studying.”

McIvor was Scottish premiership player of 2011-12 and Rankin added: “We played (full time) Cornish Pirates last week and before half-time their coach was inquiring about why Richie hadn’t been snapped up and asked me for contact 
details.

“The SRU have made it clear coaches have got to move south to cut their teeth before being considered and it is looking like the same applies to 
players.”

• Scot Clark Laidlaw, heavily linked with the Scotland sevens coaching job earlier this season, is moving from Taranaki to a post at the Super-15 Wellington Hurricanes franchise, it is 
being reported in New Zealand today.