Rugby: Beattie takes Scottish Rugby’s ambitious targets to task

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Former British Lion John Beattie is challenging as “strange” Scottish Rugby’s ambitious targets set out in a new four-year plan.

According to the document Scotland are expected to set sights on winning a Grand Slam and the 2015 World Cup but Beattie calls the targets “strange” and puts forward an alternative goal.

“My simple target for Scottish rugby ... would have a bigger impact on our future than any other: Get every school in Scotland to field rugby teams – backed by the private sector if need be – and get a league up and running,” says Beattie in his BBC rugby blog, adding: “Nothing about Grand Slams or World Cups, instead grow the grass roots and make it competitive.”

Beattie points out that others Scottish administrations have committed to lofty aspirations and fallen short, insisting: “Elite sport is driven by its grass roots. To spell out that you have a target of winning a certain number of Grand Slams or winning a World Cup is mere fantasy. It’s grand-standing.”

However, Beattie later used social media to remark of the man who set the targets: “For clarity I think Mark Dodson is an excellent CEO at SRU. He’s good for the game.”