Typhoons & a torrent of tribulations: Scotland’s storm with World Rugby rages on

A minute’s silence was held before Japan’s tie with Scotland for the victims of Typhoon Hagibis

World Rugby has given the Scottish Rugby Union 48 hours to apologise for bringing the game into disrepute in the days leading up to Typhoon Hagibis and the subsequent loss to Japan in Yokohama. They may have to wait a while. If Murrayfield is to grovel in this increasingly bitter business with the game’s governing body then there are no signs of it happening.

If the SRU stands its ground, what then? Another charge, increased punishment? Murrayfield want all of this to go to arbitration but it’s a fanciful idea. We know this acrimonious dispute isn’t quite over, but what we don’t know is where on earth it’s heading next.

When World Rugby’s Disputes Committee, consisting of two Queen’s Counsels from England and New Zealand and one Senior Counsel from Australia, started to layer on the criticism of the SRU you had to wonder if they reached for a pen or a trowel as they did so.


There is a lot of flak in the 48-page conclusion. Mark Dodson, Scottish Rugby’s chief executive, gets it in the neck.

Dodson’s words “brought rugby into disrepute,” the committee has concluded. The SRU “lowered the esteem of the game” with comments that were “inaccurate, wrong and misleading.” There was more. Lots more. Scottish Rugby has been found guilty of “egregious behaviour” with its conduct deemed to be “extraordinarily insensitive”. Part of the SRU’s case is termed a “fallacy”, other parts dismissed as “untenable”. It’s weighty stuff.

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