George Ritchie (rugby union, born 1848)

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George Ritchie
Birth nameGeorge Ritchie
Date of birth(1848-04-16)16 April 1848
Place of birthEdinburgh, Scotland
Date of death31 January 1896(1896-01-31) (aged 47)
Place of deathKelso, Scotland
Rugby union career
Position(s) Forward
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
- Merchistons ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1871 Scotland 1 (0)

George Ritchie (16 April 1848 – 31 January 1896) was a Scottish international rugby union player who played for Merchistons in Edinburgh.

Born in Edinburgh in 1848, Ritchie played as a Forward.

Ritchie played in the first ever rugby union international match for Scotland against England in 27 March 1871[1] at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh.[2]

In the match, he almost scored the first ever international try. He went over the try-line but a clutch of bodies were on top of him. An Englishman claimed to have control of the ball and the umpire decided it was Scotland's hack off 5 yards from the line. Scotland then scored a try and goal from the resultant set-piece; the try coming from Angus Buchanan.[3]

It was Ritchie's only international appearance for Scotland and he always maintained that he scored a perfectly good try, throughout the rest of his life.[4] He died in Kelso, Scotland in 1896.


  1. ^ "George Ritchie". ESPN scrum.
  2. ^ "ESPN".
  3. ^ The Essential History of Rugby Union Scotland. Nick Oswald and John Griffiths.
  4. ^ The History of Scottish Rugby. Sandy Thorburn