I hope NIG's growing involvement with rugby sponsorship (the firm sponsors the Scottish Thistles sevens team) will not lead to any embarrassing situations of the type recently recounted by former British Lion skipper and middleman between NIG and the SRU Gavin Hastings.

Announcing the firm's sponsorship of April's Melrose Sevens tournament, Hastings told a tale of the French Barbarians' visit to the borders a few years ago. The handsome Frenchmen romped away with the trophy and were presented with gold medals for their achievement, recalled Hastings.

Strangely, he added, the medals stayed in Melrose long after the Frenchmen's departure, usually draped around young ladies' necks. It seems young Scottish ladies liberated the medals in return for certain favours. I hope no such scandal attends the upcoming tournament.