Duns RFC

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Duns RFC
[[File:Two Bears either side of a rugby ball|frameless]]
Club information
Full name Duns Rugby Football Club
Website None
Colours Red and Black
Founded 1878
Current details
  • Hardens Field
Competition National League Division 2 and Border League Pool B

Duns Rugby Football Club are a rugby union side based in Duns in the Borders, Scotland.

They are known as 'The Dingers' from the town motto "Duns Dings A" (Duns Beats All).

For the 2008-09 season they will play in SCOTTISH HYDRO ELECTRIC EAST LEAGUE DIVISION 1. It is unclear if they will return to the Border League(the oldest established rugby union league in the world) having lost their place in 2007-08. They will also enter the National Cup and its various offshoots, along with various local Rugby Sevens tournaments. Duns are the only Border League side not to have their own Sevens tournament.

Recent seasons have seen a decline in the fortunes of a club who were only a few years ago almost promoted to the Premiership, and appeared in the final of the BT Scotland National Bowl at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh. 2007-08 saw another disappointing campaign with just one league victory.

The club attracts a small home support of between 25 and 50, and usually takes around a dozen supporters to away league games.

They recently replaced their traditional strip of red and black horizontal hoops, with a more modern black shoulder and sides merging into light red chest. The club logo is currently under review. The club does not operate a regular 2nd XV (a few fixtures were played in 2007-08) or Women's XV, but does have a number of youth teams.

Membership of Governing Body[edit]

Duns are a full member club of the Scottish Rugby Union and are in the SRU's East region, section 1 (Scottish Borders).

Home Venue[edit]

They play at Hardens Field, located near Clockmill, a small hamlet outside Duns. The pitch is grass and is not equipped with floodlights. The clubhouse, changing rooms and other club facilities are located in Newtown Street in Duns, roughly 1.5 miles or 10 minutes drive away. The club trains on Tuesday and Thursday nights on the floodlit council pitches at Todlaw in Duns.

The ongoing construction of a new Berwickshire High School with integrated sports facilities (including rugby pitches and floodlighting together with changing rooms, training areas, a gym and an all-weather pitch) beside the old Berwickshire High School on the Langtongate (between Clockmill and Duns), has led to talk of the rugby club selling Hardens Field to the developers of the housing estate that surrounds it, and moving to the school fields. A lobby group known as Sportduns involving Duns RFC, Duns Amateurs FC (who currently play in Gavinton due to the unavailability of a suitable venue in Duns), and other local sports groups including hockey and squash, has been set up to support this bid.

The club works in close co-operation with Duns Minis and Colts, who organise rugby at primary school and early secondary school level and are officially associated with the club, and the Berwickshire High School, which has squads for various age groups and play friendly matches.

Youth Rugby[edit]

Duns RFC operates various teams at youth level, within the Borders region.



No team was entered in the Border S1 Championship


Border S2 Championship (Duns finished sixth out of six)

  • Sunday 22 Oct 2006 (All matches at Wilton Park, Hawick)

- Pool A Duns 3 - 8 Jed-Forest and Peebles 22 - 0 Duns

- 5th/6th Place Play-off Duns 3 - 11 Gala Red Triangle


No team was entered in the Border U-15 Championship


No team was entered in the Borders U-16 Championship or Crawford Club 7s Cup or Shield


Does not operate in the Borders region


No team was entered in the Locharron of Scotland Semi-Junior League; but a team was entered in the Locharron of Scotland East U-18 Cup with results as follows:

  • Saturday 27 Jan 2007 Haddington Colts v Duns Colts (Section 1 of Cup, Matchday 1) postponed (declared void)
  • Saturday 3 Feb 2007 Duns Colts 0 - 50 Hawick PSA (Section 1 of Cup, Matchday 2)
  • Saturday 10 Feb 2007 Edinburgh BATs 10 - 26 Duns Colts (Section 1 of Cup, Matchday 3)
  • Saturday 17 Feb 2007 Duns Colts 3 - 64 Tynedale Colts (Section 1 of Cup, Matchday 4)
  • Saturday 24 Feb 2007 Biggar Colts 60 - 0 Duns Colts (Section 1 of Cup, Matchday 5)

Please note: a different points system is being used in this tournament. 2 points are awarded for a win, and 1 point is awarded for a draw. In addition, 1 point is awarded for every game played (thus penalising sides who don't fulfil fixtures)

TRI-DISTRICT DIVISIONS 1/2/3 Duns did not enter



Drawn in East Pool 4 with Biggar, Musselburgh, Kelso Harlequins, Ross High and Preston Lodge. No games were played.

Last season (seniors)[edit]

So far this season has proved disappointing, with all but one league match ending in defeat, often by large scorelines. The club has also struggled to raise a squad on many occasions (resulting in the postponement of one fixture), and were also without a physio/first aid staff member for part of the year. They currently (February) lie bottom of both the National and Border Leagues; relegation from National League 2 is now all but mathematically inevitable, since Duns would have to win all 3 remaining games with bonus points, and hope Kilmarnock lost all 7 of their games without a bonus point. There is no relegation from the Border League, although after failing to fulfil any of their four fixtures last season, and having made a bad start to this year's tournament, pressure is building to replace them with local rivals Earlston, or Hawick YM.

In the National League, Duns currently (17 February) have 4 normal and 2 bonus points from a possible 76 normal and 38 bonus points. They have played 19 games out of 22. Having postponed a game against their relegation rivals Stewartry (they failed to raise a team) it was suggested they would be fined 2 points, in line with SRU rules. However, the SRU simply rescheduled the match for the usually unused weekend before Christmas - but Duns lost in a difficult encounter that made relegation only a matter of time.

In the Border League, Duns currently (17 February) have 0 normal and 0 bonus points from a possible 8 normal and 4 bonus points. They have played 2 gameS out of 4 (excluding possible final appearance). Their match against Melrose was postponed, probably through a combination of heavy rain, lack of players on Duns' part, and the attraction of the Scotland v Australia international test on the same day. It is now all but impossible for them to reach the final.

Their two victories so far this season came in their first Cup match, where they defeated Helensburgh of the league below 18 - 13 to progress to a home tie v Livingston (who play two leagues above) which they lost; and a narrow 7 - 6 win over middle-table side Caithness which gave them their first National League win of the season, after 16 previous attempts ended in defeat.

They have entered one Sevens tournament, and were eliminated in the First Round (losing 55 - 0 to Selkirk in the Kelso 7s).

Their results and fixtures in the 2006/2007 season are as follows (National League Division 2 unless stated):

  • Saturday 5 Aug 2006 SEASON OFFICIALLY OPENS
  • Saturday 12 Aug 2006 Kelso 7s Duns were eliminated in First Round: Duns 0 - 55 Selkirk
  • Saturday 19 Aug 2006 Peebles 62 - 7 Duns (Southern Reporter Border League Pool B, Matchday 1)

and also scheduled was Sunday 20 Aug 2006 Selkirk 7s (Duns did not enter)

  • Saturday 26 Aug 2006 Duns 5 - 41 Falkirk
  • Saturday 2 Sep 2006 Duns 18 - 30 Linlithgow
  • Saturday 9 Sep 2006 Annan 71 - 1 Duns
  • Saturday 16 Sep 2006 Duns 14 - 34 Glasgow Academicals
  • Saturday 23 Sep 2006 Stewartry v Duns postponed, as Duns could not raise a team (rescheduled for Saturday 23 Dec 2006)
  • Saturday 30 Sep 2006 Caithness 65 - 8 Duns
  • Saturday 7 Oct 2006 Duns 14 - 31 Highland
  • Saturday 14 Oct 2006 Garnock 78 - 5 Duns
  • Saturday 21 Oct 2006 Duns 13 - 16 Allan's Glen
  • Saturday 28 Oct 2006 Howe of Fife 92 - 0 Duns
  • Saturday 4 Nov 2006 Duns 10 - 29 Kilmarnock
  • Saturday 11 Nov 2006 Falkirk 43 - 5 Duns
  • Saturday 18 Nov 2006 Linlithgow 71 - 0 Duns
  • Saturday 25 Nov 2006 Melrose v Duns (Southern Reporter Border League Pool B, Matchday 2) postponed (new date not yet confirmed)
  • Saturday 2 Dec 2006 Duns 7 - 31 Annan
  • Saturday 9 Dec 2006 Duns 18 - 13 Helensburgh (National Cup, Round 3)
  • Saturday 16 Dec 2006 Glasgow Academicals 49 - 0 Duns
  • Saturday 23 Dec 2006 Due to be no match due to Christmas Stewartry 28 - 8 Duns (rescheduled from Sat 23 Sep 2006)
  • Saturday 30 Dec 2006 No match due to New Year
  • Saturday 6 Jan 2007 Duns 6 - 7 Stewartry
  • Saturday 13 Jan 2007 Duns 7 - 6 Caithness
  • Saturday 20 Jan 2007 Duns 12 - 34 Livingston (National Cup, Round 4) drop into National Shield
  • Saturday 27 Jan 2007 Highland 41 - 12 Duns
  • Saturday 3 Feb 2007 Duns v Newton Stewart (National Shield, Round 1) postponed, due to Newton Stewart's bus breaking down (rescheduled for Saturday 17 May 1007)
  • Saturday 10 Feb 2007 Competitive International Weekend, Scotland at Home (Scotland v Wales)
  • Saturday 17 Feb 2007 Duns 11 - 28 Garnock

and also scheduled was Duns v Selkirk, moved to Saturday 17 Mar 2007

  • Saturday 24 Feb 2007 Competitive International Weekend, Scotland at Home (Scotland v Italy)

and also scheduled was Duns 3 - 14 Kelso (Southern Reporter Border League Pool B, Matchday 4)

  • Saturday 3 Mar 2007 Allan's Glen 12 - 5 Duns KO 3pm DUNS WERE OFFICIALLY RELEGATED
  • Saturday 10 Mar 2007 Competitive International Weekend, Scotland at Home (Scotland v Ireland)
  • Saturday 17 Mar 2007 Duns v Newton Stewart (National Shield, Round 1) (rescheduled from Sat 17 Mar 2007) KO 3pm

and also scheduled is Duns v Selkirk (Southern Reporter Border League Pool B, Matchday 3) KO 3pm

  • Saturday 24 Mar 2007 Duns v Howe of Fife KO 3pm
  • Saturday 31 Mar 2007 Kilmarnock v Duns KO 3pm

and also is scheduled Sunday 1 Apr 2007 Gala 7s

  • Saturday 7 Apr 2007 National Shield match (if still in competition) KO unconfirmed
  • Saturday 14 Apr 2007 Melrose 7s

and also is scheduled Sunday 15 Apr 2007 Berwick 7s

  • Saturday 21 Apr 2007 National Shield match (if still in competition) KO unconfirmed

and also is scheduled Saturday 21 Apr 2007 Hawick 7s

and also is scheduled Sunday 22 Apr 2007 Peebles 7s

  • Saturday 28 Apr 2007 Standby date for postponed matches
  • Saturday 5 May 2007 National Shield Final, at Murrayfield Stadium (no other matches allowed) KO various

and also is scheduled Sunday 6 May 2007 Earlston 7s

  • Saturday 12 May 2007 Standby date for postponed matches

and also is scheduled Jed-Forest 7s

  • Saturday 19 May 2007 It is not uncommon for an International Test to be scheduled for this weekend
  • Saturday 26 May 2007 SEASON OFFICIALLY CLOSES


(1) The date for the postponed Melrose v Duns match in the Border League has not yet been released

(2) The date for the final of the Border League has not yet been released

Additionally, one of the matches on Saturday 17 March will have to be postponed


Saturday 28 Apr 2007 (unconfirmed) Langholm 7s

The future[edit]

The club is currently experiencing a poor run of form, which reflects a recent downturn in the standard of players available. Working from a small pool of talent to begin with, the club has in the past year or so struggled to attract enough adult players - less local men want to play rugby, the best talent is attracted to larger Border clubs, and poor results discourage players from wanting to turn out for the club. Changes in coaching staff and two recent relegations have also damaged the club's appeal. Of course, poor results encourage players to leave the club, which in turn causes a weaker team to be fielded, and poor results continue. The financial difficulties of playing 11 away league matches plus cup matches a season, generally against clubs based in the Central Belt and the north-east, and the (admittedly shorter) journeys in the Border League, also places a strain on the club, which attracts only a few dozen fans to home games, and charge only a minimal admittance fee. Fundraising, sponsorship and local community donations sustain the club (although from next season, a small amount of money from league sponsors Scottish Hydro Electric may be provided).

On the positive side, the young players being forced into regular first team action are gaining valuable experience. However, Duns lie 14 points adrift of Kilmarnock (who have 4 games in hand, which could gain then up to 20 points) who are the only team they can now match. The most Duns can manage, by winning all their remaining games with bonuses, is 15 points, and so relegation if now really only a matter of time. Failure to win their next league match without a bonus point, or Kilmarnock winning a game, would officially relegate Duns to National League 3.

In the longer term, the survival of the club will be dependent on a strong youth set-up, and the ability to keep players who progress to adult level; best use of those adult players the club does possess; and a continuing policy of financial security. However, being relegated will most likely discourage players who feel they are of a higher standard - particularly if Duns struggle in National Division 3. That said, facing easier opposition may mean more wins and attract players back. Duns beat Helensburgh of National 3 in the National Cup, and therefore should be seen as at least a middling National 3 side if not promotion contenders. They face Newton Stewart, currently (17 February) second-top in National 3, at home in the first round of the National Shield, and this may give an insight into where Duns can hope to perform next season if the squad remains similar.

Other possible measures, such as a merger with Eyemouth White Horses RFC (also struggling to attract players) and Earlston RFC to form 'Berwickshire Rugby' may have to be considered if the player pool continues to shrink unsustainably. Additionally, Duns' right to compete in the Border League may also be questioned further, through a combination of failure to play matches and joining/dropping below sides like Hawick YM, Earlston, Eyemouth etc. in the leagues. Hawick YM are currently only outside the promotion places in National 3 on points difference, with 4 games still to play, and so may bypass Duns, possibly leading calls for Duns to be replaced by Hawick YM in the Border League for next season.

See also[edit]

[1] for latest Border League results and standings

[2] for latest National League Division 2 results and standings

[3] for their SRU portal (not regularly updated)

[4] for their Colts final Lochcarron of Scotland East Under 18 Cup Section 1 results and standings

[5] for their S2 final Borders S2 Championship Pool One results and standings