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Carl Mullen signs rugby ball for small boy

Introduction of Rugby Rules

Various forms of early football were played in Scotland for many years prior to the introduction of Rugby rules which were first adopted by Edinburgh Academy in 1851 as a game for boys.

T. Harvey, J.J. Rogerson and H.H.Almond, who believed strongly in outside exercise for pupils, were instrumental into introducing Rugby Rules into Edinburgh area schools, particularly in the Academy, Merchiston, Loretto and the high school.

  • Thomas Harvey, was educated at Balliol college Oxford before becoming a master at Edinburgh Academy from 1847-1856. He also used to take part in the football games. He went on to be headmaster of Merchiston from 1856-1863 before returning as rector from 1869-1888.
  • John J Rogerson was educated at Moffat Academy before graduating from Edinburgh uni. He was a master at Loretto and Cheltenham before going to Merchiston in 1858 and taking over from Harvey in 1863-1898.
  • Hele-Hutchinson Almond, also from Balliol college, Oxford. After one year at Loretto he moved to Merchiston 1858-1862 and then returned to Loretto as headmaster 1862-1902. Rugby was introduced to Loretto by H.H. Almond. Unofficial games were organised from an early date with Loretto regularly having to borrow players to make up the twenty man side of the day. Against the Edinburgh Academy, Loretto once played with eleven men. Almond believed in exercise each day no matter what the weather and he was a keen coach. As early as the 1880s he encouraged the boys to pass the ball "to baffle the opposition". The boys did not do that as the trend was to run until "collared" and then get "hacked" off the ball. Almond was accused of "funking" by his fellow Headmasters but it was here at Loretto that the running and passing game developed.

Alexander and Francis Crombie learned Rugby rules at Durham grammar school when they went there in 1852. Alex left in Dec 1953 to study Law in Edinburgh. Francis left 6 months later and went to the Academy from 1854 to 1856.

The youngest Crombie, Francis became the first recorded captain of the Academy for the season 1855-1856, while his brother Alexander was elected captain of the Academicals when they formed to become the first club in Scotland in 1857 - a position he had retained for eight years.

1853-Raeburn Place Ground acquired at a premium of £53.17s.4d
1854-Raeburn Place Ground opens for play, in May of that year.
1857-Start of EAFC's first full Season of Rugby.

Player quote from 1881: "We played twenty a side, and a scrum was a scrum indeed - fifteen pushing against fifteen in a tight maul that was often immovable for minutes. The steam rose from the pack like the smoke from a charcoal burner. It was much more fatiguing than the open game of today"

The first-ever inter-school match recorded in Scotland was The High School versus Merchiston, played on 13 February 1858. However, the game suffered from lack of uniformity of rule and ball. In The High School, in the early 1860s, football was played with '…monstrous inflated globes of vast circumference and ponderosity…'. H. H. Almond, a master at both Loretto and Merchiston and a founding father of the game in Scotland, describing an incident in a Loretto versus Merchiston match, wrote: '…but so little did any of us, masters or boys, then know about it, that I remember how, when Lyall ran with the ball behind the Merchiston goal the resulting try was appealed against on the ground that no player may cross the line whilst holding the ball. The previous rule at Merchiston had been that he must let go of the ball and kick it over before he touched it down. It must be said in excuse for this and other similar sins of ignorance, that the only available rules were those printed for the use of Rugby School. They were very incomplete and presupposed a practical knowledge of the game.'

During the 1860s there were not more than eight recognised clubs outside of the schools playing Rugby. 1867 saw the first official match between Loretto and Merchiston with the game going to Merchiston by three goals and five tries to a goal. Almond kicked the goal!

Inter-club games started regularily from the mid 1860s, making good use of the then new railways. In those early club matches play was often halted whilst captains and umpires tried to settle some point of difference. Such disputes and mix-ups were frequent. Such a state of affairs could not continue indefinitely and a group of men from The Edinburgh Academical Football Club convened a series of meetings and, in 1868, with the agreement of the other schools and clubs, set out and had printed rules for the game in Scotland. The resulting booklet Laws of Football as played by the Principal Clubs in Scotland, became known as The Green Book. Alas, no copy survives but it is worthy of note that neither the clubs nor The Green Book felt it necessary to include the word 'Rugby' in their title. Indeed, the Scottish Football Union, formed in 1873, did not alter its name to become the Scottish Rugby Union until 1924 - the year prior to the opening of Murrayfield.

Gradually, over several years, the game approached that then being played at Rugby. There were local variations which, inevitably, resulted in disputes. Almond again: '…well into the 1870s the only schools able to play each other on even terms were The Edinburgh Academy, Merchiston and The High School.'

H. H. Almond's interest in the game extended beyond the School and he umpired (refereed) the first (20-a-side) international between England and Scotland which took place at Raeburn place, Edinburgh, on Monday, 27 March 1871 and resulted in a Scottish win.

In 1879 fixtures against the Edinburgh Academy and Fettes were officially organised.

In the later 1870s and early 1880s in Scotland the passing game started to develop behind the scrum and was particularily evident in Loretto (as mentioned above) and Fettes. This Scottish innovation was passed to the English Universities (notably Oxford) and on to English clubs too before Scottish clubs picked it up. Long after the Scottish schools were playing with three half-backs, the Scottish clubs adhered to the earlier formation of two, however, after the England Scotland game of 1883 where the English advantage was evident, Scotland and Scottish clubs in general dropped the two half-back formation as being obsolete.

The first international

Due to heightened interest in Rugby in Scotland, pressure mounted on the playing of an International. Following on a meeting on 5th December, representatives of four Scottish Clubs (Edinburgh Academicals, West of Scotland, Glasgow Academicals, and University of St Andrews) , wrote to B.H.Burns, the Secretary of Blackheath.

The letter of challenge issued on behalf of the Senior Scottish Clubs:


There is a pretty general feeling among Scotch football players that the football power of the old country was not properly represented in the late so-called International Football Match. Not that we think the play of the gentlemen who represented Scotland otherwise than very good - for that it was so is amply proved by the stout resistance they offered to their opponents and by the fact that they were beaten by only one goal - but that we consider the Association rules, in accordance with which the late game was played, not such as to bring together the best team Scotland could turn out. Almost all the leading clubs play by the Rugby Code, and have no opportunity of practising the Association game even if willing to do so. We therefore feel that a match played in accordance with any rules other than those in general use in Scotland, as was the case in the last match, is not one that would meet with support generally from her players. For our satisfaction, therefore, and with a view of really testing what Scotland can do
against an English team we, as representing the football interests of Scotland, hereby challenge any team selected from the whole of England, to play us a match, twenty-a-side, Rugby rules, either in Edinburgh or Glasgow on any day during the present season that might be found suitable to the English players. Let this count as the return to the match played in London on 19th November, or, if preferred, let it be a separate match. If it be entered into we can promise
England a hearty welcome and a first-rate match. Any communications addressed to any one of us will be attended to.

We are, etc.
A. H. Robertson, West of Scotland FC
F. J. Moncrieff, Edinburgh Academical FC
B. Hall Blyth, Merchistonian FC
J. W. Arthur, Glasgow Academical FC
J. H. Oatts, St Salvador FC, St Andrews

The players were selected from Edinburgh and Glasgow Academicals, Merchistonians, Royal High School (F.P.), West of Scotland, Edinburgh University and St. Andrew's University. These clubs and Glasgow university represented the entire resource that Scotland could draw from at the time.

The very first rugby international match was played at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, on Monday, 27 March 1871, on the cricket field of The Edinburgh Academy. In fact, the first nine international matches in Scotland were all played on established cricket fields - the second having been played at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow, the home of West of Scotland CC. Both these venues were used for International and Trial matches up until 1895. The then Scottish Football Union rented these fields on a match-to-match basis, £25 being paid in 1875 - a sum which rose gradually to £30 in 1881 by which year the gate money had more than doubled. A temporary stand was erected at Raeburn place at a cost of £45.

The Edinburgh Academy became increasingly unhappy with the arrangement. The field was in constant use by pupils of the school, including Saturdays, and there was little time left to prepare the ground for the rugby internationals which were played on Monday afternoons, the field having been in use during the afternoon by the school.

On 27th March 1871, a then record crowd, estimated at about 4000, attended Raeburn Place. Scotland won by the only "goal" (i.e. converted try), by W. Cross. One anecdote is "J.F.Finlay had got away well with the ball and was sprinting towards the English line at hundred yards speed when Osborne, folding his arms across his chest, ran full tilt at him, after the fashion of a bull charging at a gate. Both were very big, heavy men, and the crash of the collision was tremendous, each reeling some yards and finally falling on his back. For a few seconds, players and spectators alike held their breath, fearing terrible results, but the two giants promptly resumed their places, apparently none the worse." James Finlay played in every International afterwards until his retirement in 1875. R.W. "Bulldog" Irvine played in that first Match, at the age of 18 and appeared for every Match for the following 10 years. Ninian Finlay also played in the Match, having just turned 17 - Scotland’s Youngest cap. Internationals continued to be played at Raeburn Place until 1899.

The Scotland XX.
Back Row: R Munro (St. Andrews Uni.); J S Thomson (Glasgow Acads.); T Chalmers (Glasgow Acads.); Middle: A Buchanan (RHSFP); A G Colville (Merchistonians); J Forsyth (Edinburgh Uni.); J Mein (Edinburgh Acads.); R W Irvine (Edinburgh Acads.); J W Arthur (Glasgow Acads.); W D Brown (Glasgow Acads.); A Drew (Glasgow Acads.); W Cross (Merchistonians); J F Finlay
(Edinburgh Acads.); F J Moncrieff (Edinburgh Acads., Captain); G Ritchie (Merchistonians);
Front: A Clunies-Ross (St Andrews Uni.); W J C Lyall (Edinburgh Acads.); T R Marshall (Edinburgh Acads.); J L H Macfarlane (Edinburgh Uni.); A H Robertson (West of Scotland)


The Scottish Rugby Union (SRU)

The Scottish Football Union was founded on Monday 3rd March 1873 at a meeting held at Glasgow Academy, Elmbank Stret, 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; 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 Board in 1886 with Ireland and Wales. (England refused to join until 1890).

The Calcutta Cup was gifted to the Rugby Football Union in 1878 by the members of the short-lived Calcutta Rugby Club. The members had decided to disband: the cup was crafted from melted-down silver rupees which became available when the Club's funds were withdrawn from the bank. The Cup is unique in that it is competed for annually
only by England and Scotland. The first Calcutta Cup match was played in 1879 and, since that time, over 100 matches have taken place.

Scotland vs. England March 13th, 1886.
From an original painting by W H Overend and L P Smythe.
A reproduction of the original hangs in the Library of the SRU at Murrayfield.

In 1924 the SFU changed its name to become the Scottish Rugby Union. International games were played at Inverleith from 1899 to 1925 when Murrayfield was opened.

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 the 28th of 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".

National Rugby Ground (extract from SRU)

Inverleith: the first purpose-built international rugby ground

Eventually, in 1897, the Union purchased ground at Inverleith, Edinburgh, for the sum of £3,800, the money being raised by a debenture issue. Thus the SFU became the first of the Home Unions to own its own rugby ground, complete with stand.

During building and preparatory operations, the Powderhall sports ground in Edinburgh was used to house two international matches: v. Ireland in 1897 and v. England the following year. It had been planned to open the new Inverleith ground with the Welsh match in January 1899 but inclement weather forced a postponement. Instead, the ground was opened with the game v. Ireland. A reporter's box and telephone office was added and opened in 1901 and an additional piece of adjoining land was purchased in 1905.

During the First World War (1914-18), the Inverleith ground was used for some military rugby matches but, during that period, little by way of maintenance was carried out with the result that, by 1919, the general condition of the ground, its buildings and fitments, was giving cause for concern.

In addition to the difficulties with the fabric at Inverleith, the SFU had to address other matters which were causing problems. The increasing popularity of rugby international matches made it clear that the ground was not going to be able to cope with the larger crowds. The demand for stand seats could not be met.

The Union's dilemma increased when clubs in the west of Scotland argued for some international matches to be played in Glasgow. The only suitable venue there would have been Hampden Park, the home of Queen's Park soccer club - albeit that the SFU had entertained the South Africa touring team at that venue in 1906.

Looking to expand: Murrayfield is purchased - and a change of name for the Union

In Edinburgh, the opportunity for the grounds at Corstorphine, previously occupied by The Royal High School FP Club before it moved to new ground at Jock's Lodge in 1920, was lost when the land was taken over by the City in 1921. The Union made an enquiry about leasing ground to the east of Inverleith, belonging to the Fettes Trust, and estimates were obtained for the building of a second stand if the application was successful.

Whilst all this exploratory activity was taking place, the then Secretary and Treasurer of the SFU announced that an opportunity had presented itself to possibly acquire 19 acres of land at Murrayfield, belonging to the Edinburgh Polo Club. Negotiations were entered into and, by the end of 1922, the deal for the purchase of the ground had been completed.

Funds for the preparation of the land and the building of a rugby stadium were raised by way of an issue of debentures. With preparations in full swing the SFU, in 1924, changed its name to become the Scottish Rugby Union. The cash inflow from the debentures allowed the construction work to go ahead and Scotland played their last international match at Inverleith on 25 January 1925, signing off with a 25-4 victory over France (a fitting celebration for Burns' Day!).

Murrayfield was officially opened on a sunny day on 21 March 1925. England were the visitors and a more fitting climax to the international season could not have been scripted: it was pure Boy's Own stuff!

Scotland had already recorded victories over France at Inverleith (25-4), Wales in Swansea (24-14) and Ireland in Dublin (14-8). England, the Five Nations champions of the two previous seasons, already had a win over Wales (12-6) and a drawn game (6-6) with Ireland - both matches played at Twickenham; they were to go on to defeat France in Paris by 13-11, in April. The 70,000 spectators at Murrayfield were treated to a stupendously exciting match in which the lead changed hands several times before Scotland secured the 14-11 victory which was to give them their first-ever 'Grand Slam.' At the time, the phrase 'Grand Slam' had not been created and the players of the day, although aware that they had won all of their matches in the Five Nations series and that they were champions, had never heard of 'Grand Slam' in rugby parlance. The phrase was to become popular in time to come being, it is thought, the invention of journalists.


In 1927, land to the west was purchased. This enabled the SRU to prepare extra pitches for use by junior clubs. Two access bridges over the Water of Leith were built and a car park was prepared.

The move to the more spacious Murrayfield was fully justified. Stand tickets were increasingly in demand and, to try to alleviate this difficulty, two wing extensions were added in 1936, thus increasing the seating capacity to 15,228.

The War Memorial Arch, which had been erected at Inverleith in 1921, was transferred to Murrayfield, also in 1936. Improvements were made to the dressing rooms and to the Committee Room. A Committee Box, within the stand, was also erected.

In 1929, the Clock Tower was gifted by Sir David McGowan, a Past President of the Union. Still a landmark today although having been removed from its previous location at the top of the terracing at the 'Railway End' when the stadium underwent major renovation and rebuilding during the period 1991 - 94, the Clock Tower is now located at the rear of the East Stand. In 1930, J. Aikman Smith, a Past President and former Secretary and Treasurer of the Union, presented the first Score Box and, in 1931, Sheriff Watt, KC, presented the original Flagstaff and Flag.

World War II

The outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 brought rugby in Scotland to a halt. The SRU cancelled all arranged Trial and International matches and encouraged the member clubs to carry on as best they could. Some clubs closed down, others amalgamated and carried on playing other local clubs and, sometimes, teams from the armed forces stationed in their various areas.

The ground at Murrayfield was offered to the Nation and was taken over by the Royal Army Service Corps and used as a supply depot. During the war years the armed forces sports authorities managed to arrange two England v. Scotland Services Internationals each year, on a home-and-away basis. Scotland's home matches were played at Inverleith for the first two years with a return to Murrayfield in 1944 after that ground's derequisition.

The Post War Years

The end of hostilities in 1945 saw the Union and its member clubs getting together to reorganize the game and Murrayfield was the venue for a number of 'Victory' International matches in 1946 against Scotland XV's with no caps being awarded to participating players. Full international matches at Murrayfield were resumed on 1 February 1947, Scotland losing to Wales by 8-22.

However, 5 years of wartime neglect had taken its toll of ground, stand and terraces. Major repairs and reconstruction work was undertaken: the stand's metalwork, roofing and seating were overhauled; terracings, which were overgrown with grass and weeds, to a height of 2-3 feet in places, were cleared and repaired.

Extra rows of seating were added to the stand. Within the stand building, improvements and extensions were made to dressing rooms and showers. Extra tearooms for players and for lady guests were added.

A decision was made to transfer the Union's office, then in Coates Crescent, Edinburgh, to Murrayfield. Plans were drawn up and the transfer was carried out in 1964. Following that initial move, additional office facilities were added, within the stand area, to accommodate increases in staff.

The first undersoil heating facility

In the early 1950s, investigation was made into the possibility of installing an under soil heating system for the playing pitch. Wintry conditions posed a constant threat to matches and an alternative to the not-altogether-satisfactory contingency arrangements, for protecting the playing surface, was being sought. Up to that time, attempts to protect the playing surface consisted of tent-like canopies with tall paraffin heaters within, being pitched over the playing area - supplemented by tons of straw! The remarkable thing about these rather Heath Robinson-like arrangements were that they did work - but they were costly of time, manpower and materials. However, initial investigations into undersoil heating proved the cost to be prohibitive.

In 1959, Dr C. A. Hepburn (Hillhead High School FP) offered to meet the cost of the installation of an electric 'blanket.' The Union gratefully accepted the offer and a plaque was placed at the rear of the West stand to acknowledge the gift. The cost of installation was £10,000.

A new under soil heating system

The original 'electric blanket' served the Union and Scottish rugby well for over thirty years but, by the end of the 1980's, it was beset by recurring maintenance problems and a decision was taken to have it replaced. Following the final Five Nations match, v. Ireland in March 1991, the old system was removed from the playing pitch and replaced by a new gas-heated system of hot water pipes.

This change entailed the 'furrowing' of the playing surface but hard work by the Union's ground staff and completion on time by the contractors, ensured that the pitch was ready and in good shape for the playing of the preparatory matches prior to the 1991 World Cup. By contrast to Dr Hepburn's gift in 1959, the new system was financed as part of a £250,000 scheme which included drainage, sand slitting and irrigation of the playing pitch.

Current running costs of the old and new systems make interesting reading. The original electric blanket, in use between November 1990 and January 1991, resulted in a bill of £30,500 for the SRU. The new system (it has different settings to deal with all kinds of weather) costs between £400 and £900 per match to operate. The new system has an estimated 24 miles of plastic piping running about 10 inches below the surface, from west to east.

Concurrently with the installation of the under soil heating in the 1950s, consideration was being given to the possibility of the provision of a floodlighting system. However, the Union decided that flood lighting at Murrayfield would have only limited use and noted that Kelso RFC, in the Borders, had installed such a system at their ground at Poynder Park. This gave rise to the idea that the union should aid the playing of Inter District matches by assisting clubs with grounds suitable for staging such matches, by giving financial support to floodlighting installations.

Dr Hepburn again offered financial assistance: this time to help with the installation of floodlighting at Murrayfield. However, design problems, the positioning of the lights and other considerations led to over-long discussion and negotiation and the whole project ground to a halt when Dr Hepburn found it necessary to withdraw his offer.

Further ground improvements were given series consideration. Plans for covered enclosures for the terracings, and the building of an East Stand were examined. Estimates were obtained but the high costs involved resulted in such projected plans being shelved - at least temporarily.

The match against Wales in March 1975 (Scotland 12 Wales 10) saw 104,000 spectators inside Murrayfield - a world record, at that time, for such a match. Hundreds could not gain entry to the ground, even although many of them held tickets. Following that match, a decision was taken that all future international matches would be all-ticket and attendance restricted to 70,000.

A new stand

In July 1981 the Union took a decision to build a new stand in place of the East Terracing. A Special General Meeting, held in December 1981, finalised the financial arrangements, the expected cost being estimated at £3.15 million. Part of the cost was to be met by the issue of 5000 interest-free loans of £400 each, the cash to be repayable in twenty years. Each lender would have the right to purchase one ticket for international matches played at Murrayfield. In addition, the Scottish Sports Council offered a grant of £250,000 toward the cost.

The SRU President, Mr Fraser MacAllister, cut a symbolic turf in March 1982 to launch the construction work on the East Stand. The building of the new Stand was completed in December 1982 and it was ready for use for the matches v. Ireland and Wales early in 1983. The official opening ceremony was performed by the then HRH The Princess Anne, immediately prior to the match v. The Barbarians on 26 March 1983.

Marketing and Sponsorship

During season 1982-83 the Union appointed marketing agents and The Royal Bank of Scotland agreed to sponsor international matches played at Murrayfield for three seasons starting with 1982-83. The success of this venture can be gauged from the fact that the sponsorship was extended until the end of season 1997-98.

The building of the East stand saw the old score box demolished. Two electric scoreboards, one on each stand, were installed and Mrs G. P. S. Macpherson, widow of one of Scotland's most prominent international rugby players, offered to contribute to the cost of the installation of a clock at the rear of the East Stand, in memory of her late husband. The offer was accepted and a plaque acknowledging the gift is affixed to the back of the Stand.

The many uses of Murrayfield

The pitch and corporate entertainment facilities at Murrayfield are let for a variety of activities and special occasions. Among these have been the Edinburgh and District Charity Sevens, the Edinburgh Highland Games, the Scottish Women's Hockey Association, the Scottish Ladies Lacrosse International Match, the Clan Gathering and World Pipe Band Competition, the Annual Watch Tower Convention, Pop Concerts featuring various world famous entertainers including Tina Turner, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and Oasis, a Youth Rally to welcome to Edinburgh His Holiness The Pope, and an entertainment by the Harlem Globetrotters. The function suites can be hired by corporate bodies and companies for meetings, conferences, exhibitions and the like. Catering can be arranged as required.

In 1947, the Heart of Midlothian FC made enquiry about the possibility of their staging a match v. Hibernian at Murrayfield. The Union agreed to the proposal but the tie did not materialise. Some thought was given, too, to the housing of part of the 1970 Commonwealth Games but this was abandoned because it would have necessitated major adjustments being made to the east embankment.

The secondary pitches behind the West Stand are in constant use by Murrayfield Wanderers RFC and by a host of junior rugby clubs. The Wanderers have their own clubhouse within the stadium precincts.

New offices and other facilities

By the beginning of the 1980s the office and entertainment accommodation was found to be inadequate and, in 1985, the refurbishment of Murrayfield was continued with an office and Committee development at the rear of the West Stand. Elevated above ground level, the extension compromised offices, tearooms and suites suitable for conferences, etc. These developments made available some space within the West Stand area and, in the former large Committee Room, the Union established its National Library and Museum. This was opened in December 1986 by the then President, Dr D. W. C. Smith.

The present and looking to the future

The SRU Committee, looking and planning ahead and following the publication of the Taylor Report, and in order to comply with the demands and guidelines of that Report, decided to plan for an all-covered, all-seated Murrayfield stadium. The Union launched a debenture scheme aimed at raising most of the expected cost of £50 million. The goal was to establish Murrayfield as one of the finest sports grounds in Europe, capable of seating 67,500 spectators.

Subject to the consent of member clubs and planning approval from Edinburgh District Council, it was planned that construction work would commence after the 1992 Five Nations Championship matches, with a completion date three years later. Phase One, the building of the stands at the north and south ends of the ground, with a combined capacity of 24,000 was completed in January 1993. In March the same year, following the Five Nations Championship matches, Phase Two began. This phase saw the demolition of the existing wings of the West Stand and their replacement with covered seated areas which linked in with the new North and South Stands. Phase Three (the final one) began in the spring of 1993. The original West Stand was demolished entirely and a brand new stand replaced it. The Stand was partially in use for the match v. England on 5 February 1994, with completion due by November that year when South Africa were the visitors. A new and well-furbished Library was established within the West Stand and was opened in December 1995.

Improvements were carried out to the press area and a floodlighting system was installed. New electronic scoreboards were established at the north and south ends. Ambitious? - yes, but the Scottish Rugby Union are nothing if not adventurous in a positive way. A new, larger Museum is being planned to link up with the Library and a new Visitor Centre. The new, improved stadium has made Murrayfield one of the very best sports stadiums in Europe - and that was the planned aim of the Union.

5/6 Nations Championship acheivements

  • Scotland’s first Triple Crown success came in the season 1890‐91 when they defeated Wales 15‐0, Ireland 14‐0 and England 9‐3. They repeated the feat in 1894‐95, in 1900‐01, in 1902‐03 and in 1906‐07. A sixth Triple Crown eluded Scotland for eighteen years – until season 1924‐25.
  • Scotland has had Grand Slam successes on only three occasions: 1925 when they won all four matches: defeating France 25‐4 in the last international match to be played at Inverleith, Wales by 24‐14 at St Helen’s, Ireland by 14‐8 in Dublin and England by 14‐11 at Murrayfield (the very first match to be played at the then new stadium)., 1984 and 1990.
  • Scotland were Five Nations champions on 19 occasions. Now of course Italy have joined to make it a six nations championship.


  1. The Story of Scottish Rugby. Phillips, R.J. T.N. Foulis Ltd. 1925.
  2. The Scottish Rugby Union - Official History. Thorburn, A.M.C. Collins. 1985. ISBN 0 00 435697 7
  3. "The history of Scottish Rugby" Thorburn, S. 1980. Johnson & Bacon/Cassel ltd. ISBN 0 7179 4275 9.
  4. "Rugby arrived in Scotland via Edinburgh Academy". Bath R. Published December, 23rd, 2007. retrieved 26 November 2010.
  5. History of Scottish Rugby Articles from Retrieved 26th November 2010.


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