Countdown is on for return of historic varsity rugby clash

University of St Andrews first XV Captains Roland Walker and Amy Parry.
University of St Andrews first XV Captains Roland Walker and Amy Parry.

Ancient rugby rivals, the University of St Andrews and the University of Edinburgh, will go head to head in the world’s oldest varsity rugby matches this autumn.

The Scottish Varsity Rugby Match is the oldest recurring varsity match in the world, having been played since the 1860s.

The ancient rivalry between Scotland’s two oldest university rugby clubs has seen in excess of 10,000 fans flock to the stands in recent years.

Edinburgh Men will be looking to retain the title they won last year following a four-year hiatus, whilst St Andrews Ladies will be keen to challenge Edinburgh Ladies who have won all their previous varsity encounters.

Director of Rugby at the University of St Andrews, former Scotland Rugby international Scott Lawson, said: “Since moving the Scottish Varsity to BT Murrayfield in 2015 the event has grown year on year and has become the largest sporting event in the student calendar in Scotland. Personally, I am excited to be involved in what is my first Varsity experience, and I am sure all of the players are relishing the opportunity to represent their university in what is, in my opinion, the best sporting venue in the country. I am sure all attendees, whether they be students or members of the public, will be treated to an entertaining brand of rugby played in the true spirit of this ancient university rivalry.”

University of Edinburgh Head of Performance Sport and Edinburgh University Ladies’ Head of Performance, Claire Cruikshank, said: “The Scottish Varsity is one of the highlights of our year. As women’s rugby continues to grow from strength to strength, both here at the University and across the country, it is fantastic to showcase the talents of both teams on the international pitch at BT Murrayfield. The whole team are looking forward to what is sure to be another exciting and action-packed occasion.”

Malcolm Buchanan, Chairperson, Royal Bank of Scotland, Scottish Board, said: “Scotland’s universities have a strong, historical relationship with rugby and we are delighted to be supporting the great sporting rugby rivalry between these institutions. Through Royal Bank of Scotland Rugby Force we are helping support club and community rugby at all levels across Scotland and it is great to see this university clash taking place at the home of Scottish Rugby.”

Tickets are now on sale for the 2018 Royal Bank of Scotland Scottish Varsity Matches which take place on Saturday, September 22 at BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh.

Fans will once again be able to see the University of Edinburgh and the University of St Andrews’ rugby teams clash on the international pitch, with tickets priced at £5 for students/under 18s and £10 for adults.