Watsonian RFC

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Watsonian Football Club
Full name Watsonian Football Club
Union Scottish Rugby Union
Founded 1875;143 years ago (1875)
Location Edinburgh, Scotland
Ground(s) New Myreside (Capacity: 5,500 [1] )
President Keith Watters (2014-16)
Coach(es) Steven Lawrie (Head)
Captain(s) Craig Borthwick
Most caps Mark Watters (348)
Top scorer Gavin Hastings (1203)
League(s) Scottish Premiership
2017–18 Scottish Premiership, 4th of 10
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Team kit
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Official website

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'.

Rugby union Team sport, code of rugby football

Rugby union, commonly known in most of the world simply as rugby, is a contact team sport which originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts at each end.

Scottish Rugby Union governing body of rugby union in Scotland

The Scottish Rugby Union 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. The SRU oversees the national league system, known as the Scottish League Championship. The SRU is headed by the President and Chairman, with Mark Dodson acting as the Chief Executive Officer. Bradbury became the first female president of a Tier 1 rugby nation upon her appointment on the 4th August 2018.

George Watsons College school in Edinburgh, Scotland

George Watson's College is a co-educational independent day school in Scotland, situated on Colinton Road, in the Merchiston area of Edinburgh. It was first established as a hospital school in 1741, became a day school in 1871, and was merged with its sister school George Watson's Ladies College in 1974. It is a Merchant Company of Edinburgh school and a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.



Watsonians has four male squads and one ladies team who play in the following leagues:

Scottish Premiership mens association football top division

The Scottish Premiership, known for sponsorship reasons as the Ladbrokes Premiership, is the top division of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL), the league competition for men's professional football clubs in Scotland. The Scottish Premiership was established in July 2013, after the SPFL was formed by a merger of the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League. There are 12 teams in this division, with each team playing 38 matches per season. Sixteen clubs have played in the Scottish Premiership since its creation in the 2013–14 season. Celtic are the current league champions, being the only league champion to date since its establishment.

The Scottish Reserve League is the largest of the three organisations operating 2nd XV Leagues in Scotland. Originally all 2nd XV rugby union league matches were played under the auspices of the Scottish 2nd XV League, however in recent years a number of breakaways have occurred - clubs in the Scottish Borders forming their own Borders Championship, and clubs in Edinburgh and the Lothians the Edinburgh & Lothian 2nd XV League. A Caledonia 2nd XV League was established for 2005-2006 but abandoned without a game played, although a competition for clubs in the very north of Scotland - the Brin Cup - did go ahead. Moves are afoot to reunite the 2nd XV league system.

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 Premiership (rugby)

The Scottish Premiership is an amateur league competition for Scottish rugby union clubs. First held in 1973, it is the top division of the Scottish League Championship. The current champions are Ayr, while the most successful club is Hawick, who have won the competition twelve times.

Marcus Di Rollo is a retired Scottish rugby union footballer. He played as a centre for Toulouse, Edinburgh, and the Scottish national team.

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

Ladies's Section

Watsonians also has a women's team which play in National League Division 1 of the Scottish Rugby's Women's League. Formed in 2001 by a number of players from different clubs around the city, the team played in Premier league for seven years before being relegated in 2013–14.

Watsonian FC Ladies is a women's rugby union team based in Edinburgh and part of the Scottish Rugby Union. The club is part of with Watsonians RFC and plays at the club's home ground of Myreside Road, Edinburgh.

The team is coached by Tristan Gray (former coach of Premiership side RHC Cougars) and is currently captained by Emily Cotterill.

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. [2] 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.

Scotland national rugby union team

The Scotland national rugby union team is administered by the Scottish Rugby Union. The team takes part in the annual Six Nations Championship and participates in the Rugby World Cup, which takes place every four years. As of 18 March 2019, Scotland are 7th in the World Rugby Rankings.

John Tod was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.

British and Irish Lions rugby union team

The British & Irish Lions is a rugby union team selected from players eligible for any of the Home Nations – the national teams of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The Lions are a Test side and generally select international players, but they can pick uncapped players available to any one of the four unions. The team currently tours every four years, with these rotating among Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The most recent series, the 2017 series against New Zealand, was drawn 1-1.

In 1925 Watsonians forward A.C. Gillies [2] 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. [2]

Against England in 1984, centres David Johnston and Euan Kennedy scored both Scotland's tries against France in the final game en route to Scotland's first Grand Slam since 1925.

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

Scotland 7s Internationalist Section

See also

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  1. Lewis, Jane (16 January 2017). "Edinburgh: Myreside 'can be better than Glasgow's Scotstoun' - Andy Irvine". BBC Sport. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Encyclopedia of Rugby Union Football, p169
  3. "Kyle Traynor". Scottish Rugby Union . Retrieved 11 March 2010.