Scotland Sevens could be on the brink of disbanding as the SRU wrestle with their options for the 2015-16 season. Despite being the birthplace of sevens, it is widely rumoured that Scotland and Glasgow will lose their role as a host venue on the HSBC Sevens World Series next season and it has now emerged that their players have no security for the next term.
Rugby World understands that only one of the current Scotland Sevens playing set-up have contracts with the SRU beyond this season – captain Scott Riddell. The other players have been informed that they shall not hear about their futures for ‘at least three weeks’, meaning that the side will have to hang on until May to hear about their immediate futures and whether or not Scotland will have a sevens team beyond this season.
Scotland Sevens are having arguably their best-ever term, climbing up to seventh in the current HSBC Sevens World Series rankings, above Olympic-ambitious teams with bigger budgets. In the last fortnight the team have won the Bowl in Hong Kong and narrowly lost to New Zealand in the Plate final in Tokyo, after making the Cup quarter-finals in the same tournament. Playmaker Colin Gregor has overtaken sevens great Waisale Serevi in the all-time point-scorer standing on the sevens circuit.
Many of the players have had to postpone decisions on their futures. As well as this, the spectre of the 2016 Olympics in Rio is casting a shadow over the sevens landscape and rumours prevail about other unions getting in touch with the SRU to discuss creating a Great Britain side for future HSBC Sevens World Series, potentially putting a spanner in the Scottish works.
However, some contract offers have been tabled for Scottish sevens stars who are reluctant to make a decision until they know if there is an international sevens programme in Scotland or not. The issue for many of the playing squad is that they have little to no time to make decisions about their futures with the end of the current season looming and pre-season arrangements for the next term already well under way. It would be far fairer, some suggest, for the SRU to deliver any bad news sooner rather than later.