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Scottish Rugby Union

Scottish Rugby Union
Aonadh Rugbaidh na h-Alba
Association crest
Sport Rugby union
Founded 1873 (1873)
WR affiliation 1886 (founder)
FIRA-AER affiliation 1999
Headquarters BT Murrayfield Stadium
EH12 5PJ
President Ed Crozier
Men's coach Vern Cotter
Women's coach Shade Munro
Sevens coach Calum MacRae
Website .org.scottishrugbywww

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 SRU oversees the national league system, known as the Scottish League Championship. The SRU is headed by the President (Ed Crozier) and Chairman (Sir Moir Lockhead), with Mark Dodson acting as the Chief Executive Officer.


  • History 1
    • 1873 — 1920s 1.1
    • 1990s — present 1.2
    • Centenary celebrations 1.3
  • Domestic Rugby 2
  • National teams 3
  • Personnel 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


1873 — 1920s

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 Football Board, now known as World Rugby, 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.

1990s — present

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 (now replaced by the European Rugby Champions 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. [3] 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. Furthermore, the SRU plans to have a world class rugby side for each city or large town in Scotland, when financial circumstances permit. [4]

In 2007, The Borders was disbanded yet again due to continuing financial difficulties. Also in the same year, the SRU began organising the Scotland Sevens, first held in Edinburgh and now in Glasgow. For several years, it was the final event in the annual Sevens World Series, but that distinction now belongs to London.

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

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

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

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.

National teams

The SRU oversees Scotland's national teams. The most prominent team is the Scotland national rugby union team, which competes in the Six Nations tournament every year and in the Rugby World Cup every four years. The SRU also oversees the Scotland national sevens team, which competes every year in the IRB Sevens World Series.

The head coach of the Scotland national rugby union team is Vern Cotter, with Scott Johnson as Director of Rugby.


The current President, Ed Crozier, was elected in August 2015.[5] The Chairman is Sir Moir Lockhead and the Chief Executive Officer is Mark Dodson.[5] Other board members are Colin Grassie, Ian McLauchlan, Jock Millican, John Davidson and Fergus Neil.

In May 2014, it was announced that Sheila Begbie MBE had been appointed to the newly created post of Head of Women's Rugby, reporting directly to the Director of Rugby and she was due to commence this role in August 2014.[6]

See also


  1. ^ "History of the game".  
  2. ^ MacDonald, Paul. "First Scottish Grand Slam". Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  3. ^ "SRU Annual Report 2003-04" (PDF). Scottish Rugby Union. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 Jan 2005. 
  4. ^ "SRU accused of becoming dictatorship".  
  5. ^ a b Smith, Duncan (10 August 2015). "SRU chief Mark Dodson lauds ‘big step forward’".  
  6. ^ "Sheila Begbie leaves women's football for Scottish Rugby role". BBC News. 29 May 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 

External links

  • Scottish Rugby Union – official website
  • Fans Forum (Now the SRU web site has closed their forum)
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