World’s oldest varsity match returns to Murrayfield

Sarah Law (Edinburgh), Naomi Boon (St Andrews), Scott Docherty (St Andrews) and Nick Stephen (Edinburgh).
Sarah Law (Edinburgh), Naomi Boon (St Andrews), Scott Docherty (St Andrews) and Nick Stephen (Edinburgh).
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The world’s oldest varsity match between the universities of St Andrews and Edinburgh will once again take centre stage on the international pitch at BT Murrayfield this coming season.

Last season, the two universities took part in the flagship contest at BT Murrayfield for the first time, attracting a crowd of almost 10,000.

It was the second biggest crowd to an outdoor sporting event in Scotland that weekend, with only Celtic v Hearts in Scottish Premiership football attracting a bigger audience.

On Monday, Scottish Rugby were pleased to confirm that the men’s and women’s matches will again be hosted at BT Murrayfield on Saturday 24 September with the Royal Bank of Scotland again the sponsor.

Scottish Rugby Union’s Chief Operating Officer Dominic McKay said: “In the recent past, the universities staged their game in London, primarily as a means of connecting to their alumni there.

“But the move back home to Scotland last season was a resounding success and BT Murrayfield provided a fitting venue to showcase all that’s good about student rugby in Scotland.”

St Andrews won the men’s match last season 27-26, courtesy of a dramatic touchline conversion in the final act of the game, while Edinburgh triumphed in the women’s game 36-7.

David Ross, St Andrews’ Director of Rugby, who piloted their third successive victory in the men’s match last season, said on Monday: “There was a real sense of occasion about last season’s Varsity match.

“To be able to play on the international pitch at BT Murrayfield meant a huge amount to players and supporters and we can’t wait to defend the trophy in September.”

After a campaign that saw them finish bottom of the Premier North B Division, St. Andrews’ men know they’ve got it all to do if they are to make it four in a row, coming up against an Edinburgh side who won the Scottish 1A Division last year.

As for the women, they will be looking to improve on last year’s performance, coming into the game off the back of an impressive third place finish in their own Scottish 1A Division last season.

There is hope that the game will attract a good crowd in what is sure to be a tight contest.