The beginning of 2024 feels like a time of change within Scottish rugby. At the very top, the organisation that runs the game in this country is now searching for a chief executive with Mark Dodson to step down next summer, while Jim Mallinder’s departure as performance director means there will be fresh faces in two of Murrayfield’s top positions. 

They will have a job on their hands – the new chief executive needs to address the £10.5 million losses in the most recent financial results, while the incoming performance director must urgently sort out an alarming slide in the under-20s system. 

Clubs across the country are rightly worrying about player numbers and we’ll go behind-the-scenes at some of the country’s top clubs to showcase the people involved, and their impact in the local community.  

I mentioned a time of change – and Gregor Townsend must be hoping his Six Nations fortunes change over the coming weeks. His seventh championship in charge, and off the back of a disappointing World Cup, must see Scotland challenge for the title in a way they have threatened to in the past, but failed to deliver. 

The shining light of 2023 for Scottish rugby was the WXV2 win for the women’s side, who have unearthed stars like Fran McGhie and Meryl Smith. They could both push themselves into contention for the inaugural women’s Lions tour in 2027, but they must continue to improve and Scotland, under the guidance of Bryan Easson, must keep trying to bridge the gap to the top two sides in the Six Nations. 

Times are changing in the Scottish rugby media too – with the difficult financial climate meaning organisations who have traditionally supported the game cutting back on their dedicated coverage.

Newsquest Scotland want to arrest that decline by investing. And that’s exactly where Scotland Rugby News come in.

We are looking to build a long-term, sustainable brand that brings Scottish rugby coverage in line with the media innovations we've seen in other sports. Our team are rugby fanatics and committed to providing agenda-setting coverage of the game in this country.

We aim to produce quality, in-depth journalism that's worth paying for. We're not in it for clicks or cheap engagement. We want our family of readers to live and breathe our work, feeling informed, entertained and brought into the conversation.  

We will bring separate videocasts covering Scotland, Glasgow & Edinburgh and the Premiership, deep dive features looking back at famous moments, cutting-edge data and tactical analysis as well as behind-the-scenes looks at the club game.

Our reporter Mark McDougall and I, alongside a squad of the best freelancers, will bring you all of that alongside our detailed match coverage every week. 

We want to present the game and our brand in an engaging and modern way and we want you, the fans and readers, to help us shape our content. For just £1 you can join our family of subscribers for six months [just £2.99 after that initial period] and support us on our journey. We know it's a leap of faith, but we're sure you won't regret it [and you can cancel at any time!]. 

We believe in what we are doing, and we truly think we can provide something fresh, vibrant and exciting for Scottish rugby supporters.