Scottish Rugby Union

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Scottish Rugby Union
Aonadh Rugbaidh na h-Alba
Association crest
Sport Rugby union
Founded 1873; 141 years ago (1873)
IRB affiliation 1886 (founder)
FIRA-AER affiliation 1999
Headquarters Murrayfield Stadium
EH12 5PJ
Location 55°56′32.07″N 3°14′27.38″W / 55.9422417°N 3.2409389°W / 55.9422417; -3.2409389Coordinates: 55°56′32.07″N 3°14′27.38″W / 55.9422417°N 3.2409389°W / 55.9422417; -3.2409389
President Donald Macleod
Men's coach Australia Scott Johnson (Interim)
Women's coach Jules Maxton
Sevens coach Stevie Gemmel
Official website

The Scottish Rugby Union (SRU), or Aonadh Rugbaidh na h-Alba in Scottish Gaelic, is the governing body of rugby union in Scotland. It is the second oldest Rugby Union, having been founded in 1873, as the Scottish Football Union.[1]


The Scottish Football Union was founded on Monday 3 March 1873 at a meeting held at Glasgow Academy, Elmbank Street, Glasgow. Eight clubs were represented at the foundation, Glasgow Academicals; Edinburgh Academical Football Club; West of Scotland F.C.; University of St Andrews Rugby Football Club; Royal High School FP; Merchistonians; Edinburgh University RFC; and Glasgow University. Five of these clubs were, at the time of founding the Scottish Football Union, already members of the previously instituted Rugby Football Union. Although the RFU now represents exclusively English clubs, in its first few years it had members from outside of England, there being no other national union. West of Scotland, Glasgow Academicals and Edinburgh University had joined the RFU in 1871 and Edinburgh Academicals and Royal High School FP had joined in 1872. These five renounced membership of the RFU to join the SFU.

The SFU was a founding member of the International Rugby Board in 1886 with Ireland and Wales. (England refused to join until 1890).

In 1924 the SFU changed its name to become the Scottish Rugby Union.[2] International games were played at Inverleith from 1899 to 1925 when Murrayfield was opened.

The SRU owns Murrayfield Stadium, which is the main home ground of the Scottish national team, though in 2004 international rugby games were played at Hampden Park in Glasgow and McDiarmid Park in Perth, as part of the SRU's campaign to reach out to new audiences outside the traditional rugby areas.

When the Heineken Cup was suggested SRU officials were concerned that Scottish club sides could not compete against the best teams from France and England and that centrally funded so-called 'super-district' teams might do better.

The four traditional districts—the South (renamed Border Reivers), Edinburgh, Glasgow and the North & Midlands (rebranded as Caledonia Reds)—were given the go-ahead to take part in Europe. For the first two seasons, players were still released to play for their clubs in domestic competition, but eventually the districts became full-time operations.

Then financial difficulties—the SRU's high debt, partly as a result of the redevelopment of Murrayfield—called for retrenchment. After two seasons, financial difficulties forced the SRU to merge the four teams into two. Edinburgh merged with the Border Reivers to form a team to be known as Edinburgh Reivers. Glasgow merged with Caledonian to form a team to be known as Glasgow Caledonian.

The Borders was resurrected in 2002 and joined the second season of the Celtic League. As a consequence Edinburgh Reivers became simply Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow became Glasgow Rugby. In 2005, all three teams adopted new names. The Borders readopted the name Border Reivers; Edinburgh became Edinburgh Gunners, but would revert to Edinburgh in 2006; and Glasgow became Glasgow Warriors. Caledonia will be re-established when the SRU believe financial circumstances permit. Furthermore the SRU plans to have a world class rugby side for each city or large town in Scotland, when financial circumstances permit.

In 2007, The Borders was disbanded yet again due to continuing financial difficulties. Also in the same year, the SRU began organising the Edinburgh 7s, the final event in the annual IRB Sevens World Series.

In the Season 2010/2011 the SRU had a contractual dispute with the Season Ticket Holders of Edinburgh Rugby.

On 22 December 2010 at Edinburgh Sheriff Court (Small Claims) the Sheriff ruled the Scottish Rugby Union had entered a contract between themselves and Season Ticket Holders of Edinburgh Rugby Club. The Sheriff also found that the SRU had breached the contract between themselves and Edinburgh Rugby Club (a Division of the SRU). Although it was found that the SRU had breached the contract the Sheriff could not make an order instructing the SRU to comply with their obligation under that contract.

Centenary celebrations[edit]

The SRU celebrated its centenary in 1973 with a number of events. Among these was the 1973 International Seven-A-Side Tournament, the first sevens tournament to have national representative sides. The programme for that event also sported the new coat of arms of the SRU that was granted by the Lord Lyon King of Arms on 28 February 1973, for the centenary season. The coat of arms is still in use today, but in the main the SRU use the commercial thistle logo on jerseys and stationary. The coat of arms has the motto "Non Sine Gloria", meaning "Not Without Glory".

Domestic Rugby[edit]

See also Scottish rugby union system and Rugby union in Scotland

The SRU oversees the national league system, known as the Scottish League Championship, and consisting of:

It also oversees the Scottish Cup. It is not directly responsible for local, university or 2nd XV leagues.


The board currently consists of the President (Alan Lawson) and Chairman Sir Moir Lockhead with Mark Dodson acting as the Chief Executive Officer. Other board members are Colin Grassie, Ian McLauchlan, Jock Millican, John Davidson and Fergus Neil.

The head coach elect of the Scotland national rugby union team is Vern Cotter with Scott Johnson acting as interim manager until his arrival, expected in June 2014, after which Johnson will remain as Director of Rugby.

See also[edit]

On 21 November 2009 Scotland beat Australia 9–8 after 17 attempts in 27 years.

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]