|Full name||Watsonian Football Club|
|Union||Scottish Rugby Union|
|Ground(s)||New Myreside (Capacity: 5,500)|
|President||Keith Watters (2014-16)|
|Coach(es)||Fergus Pringle (Head Coach, Super 6) Bruce Ruthven (Head Coach, Club XV)|
|Most caps||Mark Watters (348)|
|Top scorer||Gavin Hastings (1203)|
|2018–19||Scottish Premiership, 5th of 10|
Watsonian Football Club is a rugby union club based in Edinburgh and part of the Scottish Rugby Union. The club is connected with George Watson's College as a club for former pupils, but now accepts players who did not attend the school. It is one of a small number of rugby union clubs entitled to call itself a 'football club', rather than a 'rugby football club'.
Watsonians has four male squads and one ladies team who play in the following leagues:
- 1st XV – Scottish Premiership
- 2nd XV – Reserve League National 1
- 3rd XV – Reserve League East 2
- 4th XV – Reserve League East 3
- Ladies XV – Women's National League Division 1
1st XV – coached by Steven Lawrie. 2nd XV – coached by Conan Sharman. 3rd XV – coached by Johnny Sandlan.
Club Captain – Craig Borthwick. Vice Captain - Jamie Hodgson. Vice Captain - Rory Hutton.
1st XV Team
The 1st XV team enjoyed a successful 2005–06 season, winning the BT Cup and finishing second in the Scottish Premiership, Division 1. In 2012–13 season the club narrowly failed to return to the Premiership, finishing 3rd in the National League. In the most recent 2014–15 season they came 4th. The coaching team is led by ex-Scotland player Marcus Di Rollo.
Scottish Club Champions : 1891–92, 1892–93, 1893–94, 1894–95, 1896–97, 1902–03, 1908–09, 1909–10, 1910–11, 1911–12, 1913–14, 1920–21, 1934–35, 1936–37, 1969–70, 1997–98
Division 2 Champions : 1990–91, 2002–03
Scottish Cup Winners : 2006
Watsonians also has a women's team which play in the Premiership of the Scottish Rugby's Women's League. The ladies section was formed in 2001 by a number of players from different clubs around the city.
The team are a 40 strong squad of female athletes and in the 2019/20 season are competing in the Scottish Women's Premier League for the third year in a row. They have achieved increasing success over the last few years, culminating in finishing second in the league and going on to play and win the National Sarah Beaney Cup Final on the main pitch at BT Murrayfield stadium in April 2019. This match formed part of the well-attended Scottish Rugby Silver Saturday showpiece event and represented the highest level of women's club rugby in the country; furthermore, this final was the first Scottish women's club game to be streamed live on BBC Alba.
The team is coached by Freddie Main, supported by Scott Nightingale, Lucy Brown and Duncan Wilson and is currently captained by Rachel Bragg.
History – Last 125 Years
The Watsonian Football Club played its first game on 30 January 1875 against St George that ended in a draw. Right from the beginning the emphasis was on expansive play combined with enjoying rugby football both on and off the field. With this noble aim, Watsonians has evolved and achieved many successes to confirm its place as one of the leading clubs in Scottish Rugby.
In 1876, Watsonians adopted the maroon & white colours it wears today and two years' later the Club moved to Myreside, named after a local farm. In 1877 the Club became a member of the Scottish Football Union (the SRU from 1924). Watsonians won their first Scottish Club Championship in season 1891–92, but their greatest period of dominance came between 1908 and 1914 when they won the championship a further five times. The team of 1909–10 (pictured right) was undefeated against Scottish opposition during that season.
On 4 March 1933, Watsonians opened their current home at New Myreside with a victory over Royal High School FP. The Championship arrived at the new home in two of the next three seasons, but the Club had to wait 33 years for the next success in season 1969–70.
In season 1973–74 the National League was introduced and Watsonians were placed in Division 1, a position the club has maintained for 24 of the 26 seasons played. It speaks volumes for the spirit at Myreside that as a closed club Watsonians managed to preserve their standing in the higher echelons for many years.
The Club relaxed their membership rules after relegation in 1989 and returned to the top level by going undefeated to win the Division II championship in 1990–91. Since their return to Division 1 Watsonians has regularly challenged for honours before regaining that elusive Scottish Championship again in season 1997–98.
Notable former players
Watsonian's first Scotland cap was John Tod in 1884. Since then Watsonians has fielded no fewer than 62 Scottish internationalists, including five Scotland captains and seven British and Irish Lions. Watsonians have had key roles in all of Scotland's three Grand Slams to date.
In 1925 Watsonians forward A.C. Gillies played in three international matches and against France he scored one try and kicked two conversions and against England he converted a try with a superb kick from the touch line to help seal the victory in this game. James Ritchie represented Scotland in the six international matches of 1933 (Triple Crown) and 1934.
Gavin and Scott Hastings played in every game of Scotland's successful Grand Slam season of 1990. In the never to be forgotten final game against England, Gavin's kick through set up the deciding try for Tony Stanger and Scott made an outstanding try saving tackle on Tony Underwood. Gavin went on to captain Scotland and the 1993 British Lions and until recently, Scott was Scotland's most capped player.
List of Watsonian Scotland Caps
- John Tod
- A.C. Gillies, 12 caps.
- JM Ritchie.
- David Johnston
- Euan Kennedy
- Norman Munnoch
- Gavin Hastings
- Scott Hastings
- Tom Smith
- Jason White
- Grant McKelvey
- Stuart Grimes
- John Howard Wilson
- Eric Milroy, 12 caps.
- H.O. Smith, 11 caps
- D.M. Bertram, 11 caps.
- Alex Angus, 18 caps. also played for Scotland national cricket team.
- C. McCallum, 26 caps.
- George Roberts (rugby union)
- Marcus Di Rollo 21 caps
- Kyle Traynor, 3 caps.
- Donald Scott
- Louis Moritz Speirs
- Graham Ross
Scotland 7s Internationalist Section
- Jack Ferguson
- Andrew Skeen
- Michael Fedo
- Stuart McInally
- Jamie Blackwood
- Craig Sorbie
- Nick Penny
- Megan Gaffney
- Bryony Nelson
- Hannah Smith
- Lana Skeldon
- Melrose Sevens
- Champions (10): 1905, 1906, 1907, 1914, 1926, 1935, 1936, 1945, 1976, 2018
- Langholm Sevens
- Champions (3): 2016, 2018, 2019
- Hawick Sevens
- Champions (4): 1906, 1950, 2004, 2018
- Gala Sevens
- Champions (7): 1905, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2005, 2016, 2017
- Berwick Sevens
- Champions (5): 2007, 2009, 2013, 2018, 2019
- Jed-Forest Sevens
- Champions (8): 1905, 1906, 1956, 1963, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2017
- Peebles Sevens
- Champions (13): 1936, 1937, 1939, 1952, 1955, 1956, 1972, 1999, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2017
- Earlston Sevens
- Champions (4): 2005, 2008, 2009, 2019
- Kelso Sevens
- Champions (4): 2012, 2013, 2017, 2019
- Kings of the Sevens
- Champions (4): 2009, 2017, 2018, 2019
- Walkerburn Sevens
- Champions (4): 1939, 1940, 1941, 1959
- Morningside Sevens
- Champions: 1903
- 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)
- Jones, J.R. Encyclopedia of Rugby Union Football (Robert Hale, London, 1976 ISBN 0-7091-5394-5)
- Massie, Allan A Portrait of Scottish Rugby (Polygon, Edinburgh; ISBN 0-904919-84-6)
- Lewis, Jane (16 January 2017). "Edinburgh: Myreside 'can be better than Glasgow's Scotstoun' - Andy Irvine". BBC Sport. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
- Encyclopedia of Rugby Union Football, p169
- "Kyle Traynor". Scottish Rugby Union. Retrieved 11 March 2010.