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Gregor Townsend sees a significant Friday on and off the pitch

Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend is hopeful for a positive result on and off the park on Friday night as Scottish Rugby Union members vote on allowing external investment into the country's professional clubs.

Members will gather in the capital 90 minutes before Glasgow and Edinburgh kick off their Guinness PRO12 matches.

The SRU hopes that private finance can help ensure more players follow Stuart Hogg's recent lead in extending his contract until 2019.

Townsend said: "Let's hope it passes. The great news is we have 34 international players in our squad. There are not many teams, or any teams, that have that throughout Europe. That's down to Scottish Rugby's investment and the environment we have here. The players want to stay.

"It was a boost that Stuart Hogg stayed, he would have been in demand throughout Europe. To continue that, and to also be ambitious for the next three to five years, to move forward another couple of levels, then external investment will be key.

"There's a lot of money come into the professional game in other countries and if we can access some of that make Glasgow and Edinburgh stronger, then it's going to help Scottish rugby."

The benefits of having Scotland players employed by the SRU was underlined this week when Premiership Rugby threatened to bar Scottish players from playing in the November Tests following a row over injury compensation.

"That's another issue, it's obviously something that is getting dealt with," future Scotland head coach Townsend said.

"It's important our players play at a high level. In Scotland, we have got to give them that. It's great to see Edinburgh playing really well, they beat Harlequins last week, and we beat Leicester. That shows we can achieve things here and we all want that to continue."


From Belfast Telegraph