The 17th of March 1990 was Scottish Rugby’s proudest moment. They had lust beaten France, Wales, Ireland and

most importantly England, to clinch only their third Five Nations ‘Grand Slam’. But those days are gone now and they seem likely to remain in the

past, for Scottish rugby is in a rut. The

Scottish team has traditionally been characterised by guts and a determination to win, but without a

victory in their last nine games, it’s no detriment of their long term survival.

wonder that the bookies are offering odds of 120—1 against Scotland winning the series this year. Sean Lineen, a member of that 1990 Grand

Slam side, and now Managing Director

oi ‘Scottish Rugby’ magazine, explains where the problem lies.

‘Every country goes through a lull now and again. You have a good team and when that breaks up there isn’t another one to replace it. Currently Scotland is going through a rebuilding phase. There are plenty of good 17—18-year-olds but we are struggling with the 23-26 age group. That’s why you’ve still got people like Gavin Hastings and Kenny Milne playing. They’re great players, but at 33 even they’ll admit that they have passed their best. They are however, the best

Gavin Hastings: punting for the punters | k we have available just now and they

have a chance against Ireland and Wales at home, but it’s certain that

they’ll get beaten in England.’

Drastic situations (and getting

gubbed constantly by England is

drastic) call for drastic measures. The . next move to bolster Scottish international rugby is the setting up of a European Superleague at club level,

although smaller clubs might argue

that its creation would be to the

‘That European League will happen in the next five years, but we have to take it one stage at a time,’ remarks Lineen frankly. ‘Next year we will introduce a new league set up at club level. Currently the first division is made up of twelve teams, but next year there will only be an elite eight. That will mean more competition and harder games every week, which is what Scots players need. I’m certain clubs would love to keep on dreaming about the 17th of March 1990, but the only way to create that environment is to play quality rugby week in, week out. Getting the new leagues sorted out will be the first move.’ (Philip Durward)


I Scottish Ladies District Playdowns Forfar Ice Rink. Forfar. 01307 468668. 9am start all three days. Games throughout the day. Free.

' Thursday 2—Sunday 5

I English Championships (Men and Women) Dewars Rink. Perth. 01738 624188. 2 Thurs. 8pm. 3-Fri. 9.30am. 4 Sat. 8.45am. 5 Sun. 9am. Free.

Saturday 4—Sunday 5

I Macallan Repechage Dewars Rink, Perth. 01738 624188. 4 Sat. 1pm. 5 Sun.

' 9am. Free.

Glasgow I Race Days Tuesdays. Thursdays and

A Saturdays. Siiayvfield Stadium. Rutherglen

Road. Glasgow. There are ten races in

' each meeting starting at 7.45pm.


Saturday 4


I Falkirk V Hearts Brockvilie Park. Hope Street. Faikirk. 3pm. I Motherwell v Celtic Firpark.

Motherwell. 3pm.

I Hibs v Partick Thistle Easter Road Stadium. Albion Road. Edinburgh. 3pm.


Ally McCoist, Rangers

' I Rangers v Dundee United Ibrox.

iidmiston Drive. Glasgow. 3pm.

I Kilmarnock v Aberdeen Rugby Park. Kilmarnock. 3pm FIRST DIVISION

I Hamilton v St Mirren Fit-hill Park.

Firhili Road. 3pm.

I Raith Rovers v Ayr United Starks Park. Pratt Street. Kirkcaldy. 3pm.

I Dundee v Dunfennline Dens Park. Sandeman Street. Dundee. 3pm.

I Clydebank v St Johnstone Kilbowie Park. Arran Place. Clydebank. 3pm.

I Stranraer v Airdrie Stair Park. London Road. Stranraer. 3pm


I Stenhousemuir v Stirling Albion ()chilview Park. Gladstone Road. Stenhousemuir. 3pm.

1 I Morton v Brechin Cappielow Park.

Sinclair Street. Greenock. 3pm. I East Fife V Clyde Bayyiew Park.

Methii. Fife. 3pm.

Events are listed alphabetically by sport, then by day. Sport listings compiled by Jonathan Trew.

Friday 3- Sunday 5

I Hydro Electric Scottish National Championships Meadowbank Sports Centre. Edinburgh. Info: 0141 445 1218. Fri 3. 6pm. Free. Sat 4. 9.30am. £1.50 (75p). Sun 5. 10am. £3 (£1.50). Whizzing shuttlecocks galore as the top Scottish players battle it out to see who the kings and queens of the courts are.

I The Macallan Scottish Championship District Playdowns Summit Centre. Finnieston. Glasgow. 0141 204 2215. Fri and Sat 11.30am . Sun 12.15pm. Free.

The curling season is in full flight with

roaring action on various rinks. These are

. the elimination rounds to decide who goes ; through to the championships in March. i


I The Macallan Scottish Men’s District Playdowns Dewars Rink. Perth. 01738

624188. 11.30am all three days. Games throughout the day. Free.

I Meadowbank V 003 Mcadowbank Stadium. London Road. Edinburgh. 3pm.

E [1113:1101-i v Friday 27—Sunday 29


I Berwick Rangers v Dumbarton Shieliieid Park. Tweedmouth. Berwick- upon-Tweed. 3pm.

Wednesday 8

FIRST DIVISION : I Airdrie v Clydebank Broadwood Stadium. Cumbernauld. 7.30pm.

DELE— Saturday 28

I Ayr Races Ayr Racecourse. Ayr. First race 12.45pm. National Hunt racing on i Scotland‘s most prestigious track.

Tuesday 31

I Edinburgh Races Musseiburgh Race Course. Musselburgh. First race 1.20pm. National Hunt racing on the windswept track of Mussy.

Saturday 28


I Currie v West of Scotland Malleny Park. Balerno. 2.30pm.

I Watsonians v Boroughmuir M yreside. Myreside Road. Edinburgh. 2.30pm.

I Jedburgh Forest v Dundee HS FP Riverside Park. Jedburgh. 2.30pm.

I Edinburgh Academicals v Stewart/Melville FP Raeburn Place. Stockbridge. Edinburgh. 2.30pm.

I Hawick V Gala Mansfield Park. Hawick. 2.30pm.

I Dundee HS FP v West of Scotland Mayfieid. Arbroath Road. Dundee. 2.30pm.

I Stirling County v Glasgow High/Kelvlnside Ridgehaugh. Causewayhead Road. Stirling. 2.30pm. I Melrose V Herlot’s FP The Greenyards. Melrose. 2.30pm.


I Preston Lodge FP v Peebles Pennypit Park. Rope Walk. Prestonpans. 2.30pm. I Edinburgh Wanderers v Haddington Murrayfield, Edinburgh. 2.30pm.

I ngtownshire v Kelso London Road Playing Field. Ladies Walk. Stranraer. 2.30 m.

I Biggar v Musselburgh Hartree Mill. Biggar. 2.30pm.

I Grangemouth v Gordonians Glensburgh. Glensburgh Road. Grangemouth. 2.30pm.

I Glasgow Academicals v Kirkcaldy New Anniesland. Glasgow. 2.30pm.

I Selkirk v Corstorphine Philipllaugh. Ettrickhaugh Road. Selkirk. 2.30pm. DIVISION 3

I Stewartry v Dumfries Greenlaw. Crossmichael Road. Castle Douglas. 2.30pm.

I PortobeIlo F? V Dunfermline Cavalry Park. Dundee Road West. Edinburgh. 2.30pm.

I Royal High v Clarkston Royal High School, East Barnton Avenue. Barnton. Edinburgh. 2.30pm.

I East Kilbride v Kilmarnock Torrance House. Caidergien Country Park. Strathayen Road. East Kilbride. 2.30pm. I Langholm v Ayr Millitown. Langholllt. Dumfriesshire. 2.30pm.

I Hillhead/Jordanhill v Trinity Academicals Hughenden. Hughenden Road. Glasgow. 2.30pm.

I Edinburgh University v Hutcheson’s Aloysians Peffermill Sports Ground. Edinburgh. 2.30pm.


I Scotland A v Ireland A Myreside. Myreside Road. Edinburgh. 3pm.

Saturday 4

I Scotland V Ireland Murrayl‘ield. Edinburgh. 3pm. Scotland have beaten Ireland the last few times that the two have met except for last year when they held them to a draw. My money‘s on Ireland.

mm— Friday 27—Sunday 29

I Open Tournament Edinburgh Sports Club. 539 7071. 6pm. Free. Anyone can come along and have a crack at competing for the £500 prize f'und. although Claire Waddell is coming up from down South so you had better get some practice iii if‘ you want to be in with a chance.

The List 27 Jan-9 Feb I905 73