THOSE of you coming to this column expecting a diatribe against the Scottish Rugby Union are going to be sorely disappointed because having looked into all the issues surrounding the biggest change that was advanced at the Union’s annual general meeting at the weekend, the Rucker’s conclusion is that the union might, just might, have got it right with the plan for semi-professional clubs.

I don’t agree with the Stade Nicois link up but apparently nobody at the AGM was too bothered about it.

There were other issues which were raised at the AGM and we did get some questioning from the floor with GHA’s Bill McMurtrie, one time rugby scribe of this parish, asking a couple of searching questions as you might expect.

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But almost everything that the SRU executives wanted to push through actually went through, apart from the by-laws change which needs to be resolved.

Trying to stop the debate on these matters is frankly a bit silly and against the spirit of rugby, so the person that we really need to hear from is the SRU president Rob Flockhart in this very important year for Scottish rugby.

At this point the Rucker should have been issuing a rallying cry for support for our national women’s team as they start in the women’s World Cup in Ireland. But as we all know, Scotland will not be there thanks to the devastating double defeat last November against Spain. The 25-15 aggregate defeat was a cruel blow to the side but I remember thinking at the time that it might not be in a bad thing for our women to miss out on the World Cup in order that they could have more time to develop new players and build a team that could compete.

As it happens, we would have been kicking off the World Cup today at two o’clock in Dublin playing against England and I’m sorry to say that might well have been utterly humiliating given that England beat Scotland 60-nil in the six nations.

I really don’t think our women would have been able to stop an English rout today, though they would have put in every possible effort, of that I’m sure.

It might not have been as bad as the loss of 12 tries at Twickenham Stoop in March, but there’s little doubt that England Women are the best team on the island of Great Britain and possibly the planet. I am hoping that New Zealanders win the tournament because they play terrific rugby, but I would not be surprised if England triumph comfortably, and indeed they are the bookmakers’ favourites.

I do not see any other team other than the big two having a say in the outcome but you can never write off the Irish – especially at home.

Had Scotland been there our odds would have been about 500-1 to win the tournament so maybe it’s just as well we’re not there so we can build a new Scottish women’s team in time for the next World Cup – and the SRU should back them all the way.