In an excellent Commonwealth Games Sevens tournament, I thought Scotland’s men and women made a fine contribution, both finishing sixth. I suspect there might have been a motivation of a different sort for both Sevens squads, given the dreadful decision by the Scottish Rugby Union at the behest of World Rugby to vacate the World Sevens Series and merge with England and Wales in a Team GB, apparently because that’s what the International Olympic Committee wants. I feel the players needed to prove a point, that they deserve to be at the top table of the game and need the support of the SRU, not the insult handed out to them just a few days before the tournament began in Coventry.

No one has denied my assertion last week that the dead hand of the supremacist IOC was behind the merger, and I am not backing down at all in my complaint that the SRU has effectively betrayed our Sevens players and the whole of Scottish rugby with their acquiescence to form a Team GB and effectively take Scotland out of the elite level of Sevens.

I was contacted by a senior figure from the bygone days of Scottish rugby to say that money, or lack of it, was the main reason why the Sevens has been reduced – dumped, if you ask me. He and I both remembered 1993, when Murrayfield hosted the inaugural World Cup Sevens and all the talk was of how the short form of the game was going to have a great future and possibly become an Olympic sport. The Melrose Cup, as the trophy was named, went to England and while not unanimously popular, at least the Scots in the crowd on that Finals day were generous with their applause for our neighbours on a day when my most vivid memory was of the terrific atmosphere in and around the stadium. 

Yes, Scotland finished well down the pack, but it really did seem that there was  great future for Sevens and sure enough, along came the sport’s inclusion in the Olympics and the World Series. Scotland’s men’s team have always been able to compete at the elite level apart from the Olympics and next month they will be at the World Cup Sevens in Cape Town as one of the eight teams that qualified by dint of their placing in the 2018 World Cup Sevens.

Our women won’t be there, and that is one of the main reasons I am so against this whole Team GB nonsense – how are our women’s sevens players going to improve enough to be able to compete in the 2026 World Cup Sevens?

One of the great Sevens players that I actually saw play was John Jeffrey, a member of the great Kelso Sevens squad of the 1980s. The White Shark is now our senior man in the administration of the sport, and not a few people have asked what role, if any, did he play in the Team GB decision.  

Here’s what JJ had to say back in 2011 after the World Sevens Series came to Murrayfield – he handed out the prizes, as I recall: “It is important for me, as a Scottish rugby supporter, but also as a member of the SRU and IRB (predecessor of World Rugby), that Scotland is a host union and has core team status for the next three years up to the Commonwealth Games.

"I'm very optimistic about that and while we have to wait and see what the SRU's new strategic plan comes out with, and what it says about sevens, I have no doubts that it has a major role to play for us going forward for several reasons.

“Firstly, we only have two professional teams and that's not going to change anytime soon, so we need something to help bridge the gap for good young players from club and under-20s rugby to the pro game. Sevens is doing that.

"I remember when I played we saw sevens as a valuable tool for developing skills and fitness for the XVs, and it still serves that purpose now, while also being an end in itself for players who can excel in this stage, and we have a few of them too. But it's also vital that Scotland keeps its status among the leading nations, especially in a game that is going global and being used by the IRB to push rugby into new parts of the world."

So what has changed? His reasoning then is just as sound now. 

I come back to my basic point – Sevens is a Scottish invention, dreamed up by a Melrose butcher, and like so many other Scottish inventions, it will be other countries that most benefit. As a nation we must put resources into developing Sevens, not pulling out of the elite level for some Team GB miasma. The whole thing stinks and I can only hope that someone in the SRU develops a pair and starts asking serious questions about how this anti-Scottish farrago has come to pass.