Imagine the Scottish Football Association was to announce that from next season, at the direction of FIFA and UEFA, Scotland will merge into a team GB to play in the Euros and World Cup.

I have always maintained that such a decision, which many nations in FIFA have wanted over the years, would result in Scotland becoming fully independent pretty damn quickly.

Yet when it comes to rugby we are all supposed to just roll over and accept that the Scotland Sevens team will be subsumed into a new Team GB with England and Wales to compete in the 2023 HSBC World Rugby Sevens series, ostensibly to align with the qualification process for the next Olympic Games.

In accepting this ‘mandate’ from World Rugby, the Scottish Rugby Union is guilty of nothing less than treason. The Union no longer deserves to have the word Scottish in its title, and they should be banned from having any control over the sport in Scotland. The Murrayfield blazers are exposed for what they always were – a parcel of rogues who can be bought and sold for a mess of pottage as the lapdogs of the Dublin dictators at World Rugby.

The Scottish Government, which was probably not consulted, should disassociate themselves from the SRU and ask for the return of all that taxpayers’ money which baled out Scottish Rugby during the pandemic. And every Scottish rugby fan should withhold their cash from the Union until this disgraceful decision is overturned.

I exaggerate, of course, but this move really sticks in the craw. In one fell swoop, the proud tradition of Scottish Sevens has been permanently trashed. Don’t forget the short form of the game was invented here in Melrose, and while we are not the world’s greatest team, nevertheless Scotland has competed proudly at the World Series.

I am well aware that this development has been coming for a long while, since a Team GB was created to compete in the World Series prior to the Tokyo Olympics, and I detect the dead hand of the International Olympic Committee in all of this. The difference this time is that this is a permanent move which will mean that Scotland, and for that matter England and Wales, will all lose their elite status in Sevens by being merged into Team GB.

We are promised that a Scottish Sevens team will continue in some shape or form. I am sorry, but I just do not believe that will happen in any meaningful way. They say a Sevens programme will be developed as Scotland will still compete in the Rugby World Cup Sevens and the Commonwealth Games. But why bother? Let’s just accept Team GB means the end of Scotland as a Sevens entity.

Mentioning the Commonwealth Games, the timing of the announcement was simply appalling. Our men’s and women’s teams are due to compete in the Commonwealth Games tournaments that begin on Friday – how motivating is that? How can our players be inspired to give their best when they know that the SRU and world Rugby consider them to be expendable?

How many Scots will be in the new Team GB? And what happens if a Scottish player is selected for Team GB yet Gregor Townsend as head coach fancies drafting that player into the full international squad. Does that player owe his loyalty to GB or Scotland?

It’s also ending a possible pathway for players to reach the top. Don’t forget that Darcy Graham and Mark Bennett, to name but two, had spells in the Sevens and the latter player won a silver medal in the 2016 Olympics, but there will now be no credible pathway for an internationalist to emerge from the Sevens circuit.

Here’s what Jim Mallinder, SRU High Performance director, had to say: “Sevens will continue to play a role in our development pathway and we want to maintain the pipeline of quality players capable of representing both Scotland and Team GB in the future.

“We will continue discussions with World Rugby as to what those future playing opportunities will look like.”

In other words, the merger decision took place with nobody knowing for certain what future Scotland’s men’s and women’s sevens has, if any.

It’s the women players I feel most sorry for. The men’s sevens squad are professionals, the women are not, and now they will never know if they could have competed as a team in the elite version of the sport. How very discriminatory.

The proof that the SRU and their equivalents in England and Wales did not need to accept this diktat can be found on the Emerald Isle. The fact is that at the Olympics it is Team GB and Northern Ireland that compete except in Rugby Sevens where Ireland feature players from north and south of the Border. That will continue, with the Irish Union making sure the status quo continued. Why didn’t the SRU?

On all sorts of levels this merger is wrong and must be reversed forthwith.