Glasgow District (rugby union)

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Glasgow District
Full nameGlasgow District
Foundedamateur 1872;151 years ago (1872)
professional 1996;27 years ago (1996) [1]
Location Glasgow, Scotland
Official website
Rugby football current event.svg Current season

Glasgow District is a Scottish amateur rugby union team which plays in the amateur Scottish Inter-District Championship. The side evolved into the professional provincial side Glasgow Warriors when the Scottish Rugby Union embraced professionalism. However the amateur district is still used for the representation of amateur players in the Inter-District Championship; and this amateur championship guides the selection of Scotland Club XV international players.


Founded in 1872 Glasgow District was a select provincial amateur rugby union team that drew its players mainly from the Greater Glasgow area, as well as others from the rest of the west of Scotland; roughly corresponding to the old Strathclyde regional council area. Historically the Glasgow District team played matches against touring teams visiting Scotland from abroad, and also competed in the Scottish Inter-District Championship.

The Glasgow District rugby union team was founded in 1872. The team played the world's first inter-district match that year against Edinburgh District rugby union team.

The amateur Glasgow District side evolved into the professional Glasgow Warriors side in 1996; one year after rugby union allowed professionalism in 1995.


The Glasgow District side was formed in 1872 to play against an Edinburgh District side.

The teams met on 23 November 1872 at Burnbank Park at Woodlands in Glasgow; and Edinburgh District won 1 drop goal – 0 in a 20-a-side fixture. This is the oldest inter-district match in the world and to mark this the current Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby sides play for the 1872 Cup every year. [2]

The first Glasgow team in 1872: [3] -

 Backs:  Thomas Chalmers (Glasgow Academicals), William Davie Brown (Glasgow Academicals),
William Hamilton Kidston (West of Scotland)
 Half Backs:  William Cross (Glasgow Academicals), T. A. Drew (Glasgow Academicals)
 Quarters:  George Buchanan McClure (West of Scotland), John Arthur (Glasgow Academicals) [Captain]
 Forwards:  John Kennedy Tod, Henry William Allan, Charles Chalmers Bryce, George Raphael Fleming,
J.S. Thomson, J.K. Brown (all Glasgow Academicals)
James Howe McClure, J. Kennedy, J.P. Tennant, Robert Wilson, G. Hunter, A. Cochrane (all West of Scotland)
J.W. Reid (Glasgow University)

After the initial match at Burnbank, the games rotated - in the twice a season format - between Raeburn Place in Edinburgh and Hamilton Crescent in Partick, Glasgow.

Selection of representative players

Often to aid the selection process of Glasgow District's players a trial match was played.

In Glasgow's case a trial match of hopefuls were divided into Blues and Whites teams, so the players could impress the selectors. [4]

Glasgow also played a 'Rest of the West' team for selection. [5]

Early history

The Inter-City

With the exception of the first four years, the Glasgow v Edinburgh district fixture was more or less played annually; only being beaten by World War and occasional inclement weather.

Typically the Glasgow District side, in its early history, was crammed with Scottish international players. [6]

The Glasgow team for the 5 December 1874 match is an example: [7]

 Backs:  William Davie Brown [captain] ᵜ , James Stewart Carrick ᵜ (both Glasgow Academicals)
 Half Backs:  Malcolm Cross ᵜ (Glasgow Academicals), William Hamilton Kidston ᵜ (West of Scotland)
 Quarters:  James Howe McClure ᵜ , George Buchanan McClure ᵜ (both West of Scotland),
John Kennedy Tod ᵜ (Glasgow Academicals)
 Forwards:  Gilbert Heron ᵜ, Charles Chalmers Bryce ᵜ , Allan Arthur ᵜ , Henry William Allan ᵜ ,
George Raphael Fleming ᵜ (all Glasgow Academicals)
Tom Paterson Neilson ᵜ , John Alexander Neilson ᵜ , J.S. Kennedy, Preston (West of Scotland)
C.E. McArthur, Henry Melville Napier ᵜ , W.B. Russell, J. Hutchison (Glasgow University)

ᵜ Marked as Scottish internationalists.

The first 15-a-side match was played on 29 January 1876.

From the Inter-City formation in 1872, Edinburgh won the first two fixtures. Six draws followed, then came sporadic Edinburgh wins and draws. It wasn't until the 13th inter-city tie that Glasgow won the fixture.

The first winning Glasgow side in 1881: [8]

David Kidston (G. Academicals), A. J. W. Reid and C. W. Dunlop (West of Scotland),
John Alexander Neilson (West of Scotland) and C. Ker (G. Academicals),
D. Y. Cassels [captain], D. McGowan, A. Walker, R. Adam (West of Scotland),
R. B. Young, J. Lang (Glasgow University),
John Blair Brown, R. A. Kerr, William Andrew Walls, G. H. Robb (G. Academicals).

Glasgow then held dominance until 1887 when once more Edinburgh won again. From the 1880s to the close of the 1890s Edinburgh won a total of only four times in 20-years. The tide turned back in Edinburgh's favour in 1898. With only a solitary Glasgow win in 1905, Edinburgh held sway until 1914.

Hamilton Crescent, New Anniesland, Old Anniesland

The games were postponed during the First World War period. After around 50-years at Hamilton Crescent – the West of Scotland ground in Woodlands, Glasgow – the Glasgow v Edinburgh fixture moved to Glasgow Academical's ground at New Anniesland, Glasgow, in 1921. This move prompted yet another shift in balance as Glasgow once again became the dominant force of the two districts. The fixture moved to Glasgow HSFP's ground Old Anniesland in 1927.

Rugby Union

To coincide with the Scottish Football Union changing its name to the Scottish Rugby Union in 1924, [9] the SRU made the Glasgow District Union into the Glasgow District Rugby Union that same year. [10]

Touring sides

Glasgow often played matches against international and non-international touring teams. Occasionally both Glasgow and Edinburgh would field joint teams against the international touring teams.

One strange example is that of the New South Wales Waratahs world tour in 1927–28. They played against Glasgow District on 12 October 1927. Due to collapse of the Queensland Rugby Union they effectively were a de facto Australian national rugby team at the time and the Australian Rugby Union have decreed that their international matches of that tour should be taken as full tests. In the match against Glasgow, the Waratahs won 10–0.

Scottish Inter-District Championship

Two other Scottish districts South and North and Midlands had also been formed and there was regular matches between the four Scottish districts as well as against the touring sides.

The Scottish Inter-District Championship was established in the 1953–54 season. The Glasgow, Edinburgh, South and North and Midlands sides would play off to see which district was best in Scotland. From 1981 an Anglo-Scots or Scottish Exiles team was also invited into this championship.

Famously the 1989 Glasgow District side went through the entire 1989–90 season undefeated:- winning the Scottish Inter-District Championship outright; drawing 18–18 with Munster away; winning 21–6 against Connacht away; and winning against Fiji [11]

Glasgow Inter-District Championship-winning squad 1989–1990.

Graeme Smillie (Glasgow Academicals)

Dave Barrett, Matt Duncan, Dave McKee (West of Scotland), Ian Jardine, George Graham, Kevin McKenzie, Brian Robertson, Stewart Hamilton (all Stirling County), Derek Stark, Phil Manning, David McVey (Ayr), George Breckenridge, Ewan McCorkindale, Alan Watt, Shade Munro, Fergus Wallace, Derek Busby (all Glasgow High Kelvinside), Stewart McAslan (Glasgow Academicals), David Jackson (Hillhead Jordanhill). [12]

Age grades

The Scottish Inter-District Championship was also contested at Age Grade level. The Under 21 Glasgow District side won for the first time in 1986–87 season. [13] With players like Shade Munro, Andrew Garry, Gordon Mackay, Gerry Hawkes and Murray Wallace in that side, it gave a good foundation for the 1989–90 season triumph and these young players later went on to represent the fledgling professional Glasgow side.

Effect of professionalism

With the advent of professionalism in 1995, the Scottish Rugby Union realised that not even the best semi-professional Scottish club teams could compete in the new Professional Era in rugby union, which was beginning to gain great momentum in the professional leagues of the Southern Hemisphere and the Northern Hemisphere.

In an attempt to stay in touch with the leading nations the SRU formed four professional teams out of the four amateur districts of Scotland in 1996. It was these newly professional teams that would represent Scotland in the Heineken Cup and in the Celtic League. The amateur Glasgow District side was to become the professional Glasgow Warriors side.

For the subsequent history of the professional Glasgow rugby district team from 1996, see Glasgow Warriors.

Records and Achievements


The Glasgow District won the Scottish Inter-District Championship outright in 1955–56, 1973–74 and 1989–90. [12]

It also shared the Scottish Inter-District Championship six times: 1964–65, 1967–68, 1972–73, 1974–75, 1975–76 and 1977–78. [14]

Season standings


Inter-CityNo Inter-City played

Glasgow score given first. ᵜ Previous to 1876 only goals counted; tries were ignored in the result.

Scoreline key:

Glasgow winEdinburgh winDraw
Twice a season matches
1872-73 23 Nov 18720 - 1dg Report XX a side15 Jan 18730 - 1 gl, 2tr Report XX a side
1873-74 6 Dec 18730 - 0 Report XX a side24 Jan 18740 - 1 tr ᵜ Report XX a side
1874-75 5 Dec 18740 - 0 Report XX a side20 Feb 18750 - 0 Report XX a side
1875-76 18 Dec 18750 - 0 Report XX a side29 Jan 18760 - 0 Report XV a side

1st 1872 - 73 match played at Burnbank Park in Woodlands, Glasgow;
2nd 1872 - 73 match played at Raeburn Place in Stockbridge, Edinburgh
1st 1873 - 74 match played at Raeburn Place.
2nd 1873 - 74 match played at Hamilton Crescent in Partick, Glasgow.
1st 1874 - 75 match played at Hamilton Crescent;
2nd 1874 - 75 match played at Raeburn Place.
1st 1875 - 76 match played at Hamilton Crescent;
2nd 1875 - 76 match played at Raeburn Place.

Annual matches
1876-77 2 Dec 18760 - 1tr Report Hamilton Crescent; XV a side
1877-78 1 Dec 18770 - 1dg Report Hamilton Crescent
1878-79 no match; 9 weeks of frost
1879-80 20 Dec 18791gl - 1gl Report Hamilton Crescent
1880-81 4 Dec 18800 - 1gl, 2 trl Report Hamilton Crescent
1881-82 3 Dec 18811gl, 1tr - 1tr Report Hamilton Crescent
1882-83 2 Dec 18821gl, 1 tr - 0 Report Hamilton Crescent
1883-84 1 Dec 18831tr - 1gl, 2tr Report Hamilton Crescent
1884-85 6 Dec 18841gl - 1tr Report Hamilton Crescent
1885-86 5 Dec 18851gl, 1tr - 2tr Report Hampden Park*
1886-87 4 Dec 18861tr - 0 Report Old Anniesland
1887-88 3 Dec 18870 - 2gl, 3tr Report Hamilton Crescent
1888-89 1 Dec 18881gl - 0 Report Hamilton Crescent
1889-90 7 Dec 18890 - 1dg Report Hamilton Crescent
1890-91 6 Dec 18901gl, 5tr - 2tr Report Hamilton Crescent
1891-925 Dec 18911dg, 1tr - 1tr Report Hamilton Crescent
1892-9317 Dec 18921gl, 1tr - 3tr Report Hamilton Crescent
1893-9416 Dec 18932gl, 2tr - 0 Report Hamilton Crescent
1894-951 Dec 18942 gl - 2 tr Report Hamilton Crescent
1895-967 Dec 18950 - 0 Report Hamilton Crescent
1896-975 Dec 18961tr - 0 Report Hamilton Crescent
1897-984 Dec 18971pg, 1tr - 1gl Report Hamilton Crescent
1898-993 Dec 18981dg, 3tr - 0 Report Hamilton Crescent
1899-19002 Dec 18991pg - 3tr Report Hamilton Crescent
1900-01 1 Dec 19000 - 2gl, 3tr Report Inverleith
1901-027 Dec 19010 - 2gl, 2tr Report Hamilton Crescent
1902-0313 Dec 19020 - 0 Report Hamilton Crescent
1903-045 Dec 19030 - 2gl, 5tr Report Hamilton Crescent
1904-053 Dec 19041tr - 2tr Report Hamilton Crescent
1905-062 Dec 19051gl, 2tr - 1tr Report Hamilton Crescent
1906-071 Dec 19060 - 0 Report Hamilton Crescent
1907-08 7 Dec 19070 - 0 Report Hamilton Crescent
1908-09 5 Dec 19081tr - 1 gl, 1tr Report Hamilton Crescent
1909-1018 Dec 19091gl, 2tr - 2gl, 2tr Report Hamilton Crescent
1910-113 Dec 19101gl - 4gl, 2tr Report Hamilton Crescent
1911-122 Dec 19112tr - 3gl, 2tr Report Hamilton Crescent
1912-137 Dec 19121pg, 1tr - 2gl, 1tr Report New Anniesland
1913-146 Dec 19131dg - 1dg Report Hamilton Crescent
1914-19no matches; war years
1919-206 Dec 19191pg - 2gl, 3tr Report Hamilton Crescent
1920-214 Dec 19201pg, 1tr - 1gl, 2tr Report Hamilton Crescent
1921-223 Dec 19211gl, 1tr - 1pg Report New Anniesland
1922-232 Dec 19221gl, 1tr - 1gl, 4tr Report New Anniesland
1923-241 Dec 19231plg - 1plg Report New Anniesland
1924-256 Dec 19244gl, 3tr - 2tr Report New Anniesland
1925-26 Report Report no match; frost
1926-274 Dec 19263tr - 3gl, 1p, 1tr Report New Anniesland
1927-283 Dec 19271p - 1gl, 1tr, 1p Report Old Anniesland
1928-291 Dec 19281g, 1d, 2p, 1tr - 3g, 1t Report Old Anniesland
1929-307 Dec 19291gl, 5tr - 1gl, 1tr Report Old Anniesland
1930-316 Dec 19303tr - 2p Report Old Anniesland
1931-325 Dec 19312tr - 1gl, 1p, 1tr Report Old Anniesland
1932-333 Dec 19321gl, 1tr - 1gl, 4tr Report Old Anniesland
1933-342 Dec 19331gl, 1tr - 1p, 4tr Report Old Anniesland
1934-351 Dec 19341tr - 0 Report Old Anniesland
1935-367 Dec 19354gl, 3tr - 0 Report Old Anniesland
1936-375 Dec 19361gl, 1p, 1tr - 1p Report Old Anniesland
1937-384 Dec 19374gl, 3p - 1p, 1tr Report Old Anniesland
1938-393 Dec 19382p, 1tr - 1dg, 3p, 1tr Report Old Anniesland
1939-45no matches; war years
1945-461 Dec 19451tr - 5gl,1p, 2tr Report Old Anniesland
1946-477 Dec 19463tr - 4gl, 3tr Report Old Anniesland
1947-486 Dec 19472dg, 1tr - 1gl, 1tr Report Old Anniesland
1948-494 Dec 19482p, 1tr - 1p Report Old Anniesland
1949-503 Dec 19490 - 1gl, 1p Report Old Anniesland
1950-512 Dec 19501gl, 1p, 1tr - 1p Report Old Anniesland
1951-521 Dec 19512tr - 1tr Report Old Anniesland
1952-53 13 Dec 19521g, 2p, 1t - 2g, 1t Report Old Anniesland
* 1885 match played at the 2nd Hampden Park - the modern Hampden Park is the 3rd park with that name. The 2nd Hampden Park was renamed as New Cathkin Park and taken over by Third Lanark.

Scottish Inter-District Championship

The Inter-City match was then incorporated into the Scottish Inter-District Championship. For Glasgow's professional championship results from 1996 see Glasgow Warriors; for results of later Glasgow - Edinburgh matches see 1872 Cup.

Scottish Inter-District Championship
1953–54 3rd31022820+8-2
1954–55 2nd31114030+10-3
1955–56 1st32103322+11-5
1956–57 4th30121850-32-1
1957–58 3rd31023429+5-2
1958–59 4th31021430-16-2
1959–60 4th30031455-41-0
1960–61 4th30031453-39-0
1961–62 4th3003952-43-0
1962–63 3rd31021820-2-2
1963–64 3rd31021124-13-2
1964–65 1st=32012518+7-4Shared with South
1965–66 4th30031446-32-0
1966–67 3rd31022949-20-2
1967–68 1st=32013129+2-4Shared with Edinburgh and South
1968–69 3rd31024846+2-2
1969–70 2nd32013522+13-4
1970–71 2nd21012928+1-2 North and Midlands match cancelled
1971–72 1st=32015243+9-4 Edinburgh won play-off
1972–73 1st=32017074-4-4
1973–74 1st33004438+6-6
1974–75 1st=32012928+1-4Shared with North and Midlands
1975–76 1st=32013834+4-4Shared with South and Edinburgh
1976–77 4th30032693-67-0
1977–78 1st=32015615+31-4Shared with South & Edinburgh
1978–79 3rd31022868-40-2
1979–80 3rd31024131+10-2
1980–81 2nd32014854-6-4
1981–82 4th41033681-45-2
1982–83 4th41035758-1-2
1983–84 4th42025771-14-4
1984–85 5th40042868-40-0
1985–86 4th41036656+10-2
1986–87 4th41036899-31-2
1987–88 4th410353104-51-2
1988–89 4th410356117-61-2
1989–90 1st43107854+24-7
1990–91 2nd42115459-5-5
1991–92 4th21012034-14-2Abbreviated tournament - no winner
1992–93 4th41124459-15-3
1993–94 2nd21013534+1--(lost to South in cup final)
1994–95 5th41036295-33-2
1995–96 5th400463161-98-0
Professional Era

The Amateur Scottish Inter-District Championship has been restarted twice in the professional era. The first restart was from 1999 to 2002; the second restart from the 2022-23 season.

1999–2000 4th300372107-3544
2000–01 4th420250100-50-8
2001–02 2nd430110070+30114
2022–23 4th0000000-0

Partial list of games played against international opposition

1902 20 December [15] Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow Win11–31902-03 Canada rugby union tour
193128 October [16] Flag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg  South Africa Hughenden Stadium, Glasgow Loss13–21 1931–32 South Africa rugby union tour
197424 September [17] Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga Hughenden Stadium, Glasgow Win33–16 Report
19796 NovemberFlag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand Hughenden Stadium, Glasgow Loss6–12 1979 New Zealand tour of England, Scotland & Italy [18]
198112 DecemberFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh Loss0–31 1981–82 Australia rugby union tour of Britain and Ireland Preview Report
19844 DecemberFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Hughenden Stadium, Glasgow Loss12–26 1984 Australia tour of Britain & Ireland [19]
Report Report
19856 SeptemberFlag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands The Hague Win26–12 Preview Report
19858 SeptemberFlag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium Brussels Win23–9 Preview Report Tour Report
198716 SeptemberFlag of France.svg  France Hughenden Stadium Loss9–28 Preview Report
198927 OctoberFlag of Fiji.svg  Fiji Hughenden Stadium, Glasgow Win22–11 1989 Fiji rugby union tour of Europe

Notable former players

British and Irish Lions from Glasgow District

The following former Glasgow District players have represented the British and Irish Lions.

Notable non-Scottish players

The following is a list of notable non-Scottish international representative former Glasgow players:

New Zealand


See also

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