Royal High Corstorphine RFC
|Full name||RHC Cougars Rugby Football Club|
|Founded||2003 – merged team
1868 – RHSFP
1950 – Corstorphine RFC
|Ground(s)||Union Park & Barnton|
|League(s)||Scottish National League Division Three|
The team has recently branded itself from being Royal High Corstorphine RFC.
Royal High-Corstorphine RFC is an Edinburgh rugby union club, formed from the merger of the Royal High School Former Pupils club (RHSFP, Royal HSFP, Royal High School F.P.) and Corstorphine RFC. Although it is currently in Scottish National League Division Three, its historical connection with RHSFP makes it notable for several reasons, including the fact that it was a founder member of the Scottish Rugby Union, the second oldest national governing body in the world.
The club was officially formed as Corstorphine RFC in 1950. Unlike RHSFP, this club represented the western Edinburgh suburb of Corstorphine rather than a former pupils' club. They played in different variations of navy and red strips. Most often in red and blue quarter panels.
Union Park has been home to rugby since 1875 when Edinburgh University first initially used the ground until 1896. Coincidentally Royal High School FP club took up residency in 1897 (while still playing at Holyrood) until 1920 when they moved to Jock's Lodge.
On departure of the Royal High School FP team the Corstorphine Amateur Association was formed in 1920 and included athletics, cricket, hockey, football (soccer) and rugby for youths residing in the area.
The rugby club was disbanded along with the rest of the Athletics association in 1939 with the outbreak of the war and was not reformed until 1950 when former pre-war players Alex Watson and Jock Waugh persuaded John McLean and David Fell to recruit sufficient local players to form a 1st and 2nd XV to play in the Edinburgh District League for junior clubs. During the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s the club prospered winning the aforementioned league on several occasions. Full membership status to the Scottish Rugby Union was granted in 1973 with entry to the Division XI of the newly formed leagues. At its peak 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th XV's along with a Codgers (over 35's) and a very large youth section played rugby on the hallowed turf at Union Park.
The club achieved high points playing SRU Premiership 2 rugby and SRU Shield semi final with a result coming down to the very last play of the game before being beaten by Duns RFC. The club also made national news after defeating Premiership 1 side Kirkcaldy during a SRU cup run that was eventually ended in a hard fought and close game against Premiership 2 side West of Scotland.
It also held the honour of holding the record for the longest running fixture between Scottish and Irish clubs having played against Suttonians RFC from 1955 through to the late 1990s. In more recent times the club continues to maintain a close friendship with Keswick RFC which is into its 36th year (2015) of reciprocal tours playing for the Corwick Trophy.
The merged club continues to use Union Park, Carrick Knowe.
The Royal High School is a school in Edinburgh with origins traceable to the 12th c at the Abbey of Holyrood, subsequently run by the City of Edinburgh. The school gives its name to High School Yards off Infirmary Street, where it was located before moving to the familiar Thos. Hamilton classical Greek building on Calton Hill at Regent Road which it occupied until July 1968, when it moved to new premises at East Barnton Avenue in the western side of Edinburgh near Davidson's Mains. Coeducation commenced in Sept 1976 and the school remains the Local Authority school for that area to date. The history is documented by Ross in a definitive work, William C. A. Ross, the Royal High School (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1934)
The Royal High School was playing a form of "football" by 1810 (the word "football" here referring to a handling code, rather than one like soccer). The Royal High played the first inter-school match with Merchiston in 1858. The Royal High FP club was formally organised in 1867, and was a founder member of the Scottish Football Union (future SRU) in 1873.
|“||That Act of Council in 1851, which freed our Saturdays, should be held in high esteem by all our athletes, for it is the Magna Carta of our Cricket and Football Clubs. It rendered possible the formation of a Cricket Club in 1861, to be followed seven years later by a Football Club.||”|
The RHS Rugby Football Club was formed in 1868. These clubs were pioneered by former and attending pupils, who originally played their games together. Among the celebrated student founders of cricket and rugby football at the school were Taverner Knott and Nat Watt, who undertook their labours with the encouragement of Thomson Whyte, reportedly the first master to take a serious interest in sport at the school. The sporting clubs were formally integrated into the school body when, in 1900, at the request of the club captains, two masters undertook the management of cricket and rugby.
Historically, RHSFP was much stronger, and produced players such as Mark Coxon Morrison (sometimes considered the best Scottish captain ever, and a member of the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame), and Pringle Fisher. Mark Morrison was capped 1896, and went to win twenty three caps. Angus Buchanan of Royal High School FP, was the first person to score a try in international rugby.
- "Royal High, also a force in the nineteenth century, have had a similar history. They have continued to produce good players, but seldom good teams. They had a brief spell in the First Division, but never looked like establishing themselves. In recent years, the link between school and club has been broken... Royal H.S.F.P. have recently found difficulty in retaining the best players to come out of the Royal High School. Neither Colin Telfer nor Gordon Hunter ever played for them, though both worked in Edinburgh; Ivan Tukalo left Royal High for Selkirk in the summer of 1983 after the club lost its First Division place."(Massie)
Bill McLaren recalls being chosen for a Scottish XV against the British Army for a game at Murrayfield on 15 February 1947, which contained two RHSFP players: T.P.L. "Tom" M'Glashan and D.T. McLean. Tom M'Glashan, was being still selected for Scotland in 1954, as the front row of a pack which contained three Macs, the others being Hugh McLeod and Bob MacEwen.
Due to the historic association with the Abbey of Holyrood, the school had the use of two pitches at Holyrood, adjacent to the Place of Holyrioodhouse and conveniently situated beneath the school on Regent Road. Five rugby pitches were maintained at Jock's Lodge, where the RHS 'Preparatory Department' was relocated in the 1930s. On relocation to Barnton in 1968, pitches were then available adjacent to the new building. Jock's Lodge is located on the east side of the city, on the opposite side from the school's present location. This put them in competition with Portobello RFC, Musselburgh, Leith and Trinity Academicals for local talent.
RHC have a very successful Women's team who play in the Scottish Women's Premier League. They boast several current and former Lionesses and Scotland players.
Royal High School FP players:
- Alexander Gordon Petrie - played for Scotland in 1873
- Alexander Thomson Wood - played for Scotland in 1873
- T.P.L. "Tom" M'Glashan.
- D.T. McLean.
- Pringle Fisher, Royal High, London Scottish and Scotland
- Angus Buchanan.
- Mark Coxon Morrison.
RHC Cougars players:
- Andrew Crammond - played for Edinburgh at under-16, under-17 and under-18 levels, and for Scotland under-18. He made his Scotland under-20 debut in Athlone in January 2014, against Ireland in the 6 Nations and scored his first try, against France, at Netherdale on 7 March 2014. Represented Scotland at the U20 World Championships in New Zealand in 2013. He currently plays for Toulon.
Scotland Women Internationals:
- Lee Cockburn
- Sonia Cull
- Louise Dalgliesh
- Cara DiSilva
- Sarah Dixon
- Ronnie Fitzpatrick
- Tanya Griffith
- Donna Kennedy
- Alison MacDonald
- Jilly McCord
- Mags McHardy
- Louise Moffat
- Lynne Reid
- Gayle Stewart
From 2010 the 2nd XV have been branded as The Brothers. Named by Marc Maiden after a trip to New Zealand. Under the new team name The Brothers started the 2010–11 season undefeated winning 9 of 9 games. Due to injuries and call ups to the 1st XV the team eventually managed a 4th place league finish. The 2011–12 season was a much different affair. Due to a number of players retiring and an unsettled side the team had been in a relegation battle for a majority of the season, a contributing factor to this was the SRU re organising the league structure and a number of border teams being placed into reserve national league east division 1. The 2012–13 season sees The Brothers under a new management structure, team manager "Iron" Mike Whiteside has been joined by forwards coach Gavin McLeod and backs coaches Dougie Cross and Graeme "Gingles" Ingles.
On rare occasions when the moon is full and the world is in danger an elite team of rugby players assemble to go to battle against the forces of evil. The Galacticos or RHC 3rd XV are these "chosen" heroes. Anyone found guilty of the crime of training or not drinking before a game is not eligible to be a Galactico.
- Massie, p1
- Massie, p2
- Massie, p3
- Ross, p73.
- Ironside & Thorburn, p8
- Massie, p 101
- Massie, p16
- McLaren, p37
- McLaren, p81
- Jones, p118
- Bath, Richard (ed.) The Scotland Rugby Miscellany (Vision Sports Publishing Ltd, 2007 ISBN 1-905326-24-6)
- Godwin, Terry Complete Who's Who of International Rugby (Cassell, 1987, ISBN 0-7137-1838-2)
- Ironside, Robert & Thorburn, Alexander M.C. Thorburn, Royal High School Rugby Football Club: Centenary 1868-1968' (Edinburgh, Royal High School, 1968)
- Jones, J.R. Encyclopedia of Rugby Football (Robert Hale, London, 1958)
- Massie, Allan A Portrait of Scottish Rugby (Polygon, Edinburgh; ISBN 0-904919-84-6)
- Ross, William C. A. The Royal High School (Edinburgh, Oliver and Boyd, 1934)