Scottish Varsity Match 2014

The University of Edinburgh’s rugby clubs and their St Andrews counterparts will head down to London later this month to play in the world’s oldest varsity match. The sporting tradition, firmly embedded in the universities’ history, is played annually, with the match thought to be approximately 150 years old.

The game will again be played at Richmond Athletic Ground, on Saturday 27 September (kick-off 6pm), and will be the fourth consecutive year in which the derby match has been contested at the home of London Scottish.

Former Scotland internationalists and alumni of the universities, Jonny Petrie (St A) and Simon Taylor (Edinburgh), helped launch the fixture in the grounds of the iconic St Andrews Cathedral.

St Andrews currently hold the Cup, after recording a 24-15 victory in last year’s game, the first time they had managed the feat since the derby upped-sticks and moved to London.

St Andrews captain, and last year’s man of the match, Danny Clink, said: “We always look forward to the varsity match to kick start our season, yet are fully aware that Edinburgh [University] are a talented team and will come at us hard. We don’t often get the chance to play Edinburgh, as they compete in the league above us, so it’s a great opportunity to test ourselves and one that I know a lot of boys will relish. There was a great buzz around the game last year, with the crowd of over 1400, and we would love for more of the same this year.”

Head of Men’s Rugby at Edinburgh, David Adamson, agreed with this saying: “The event is growing year on year and we are already in discussions to bring the game to Edinburgh next year so that there will be a greater student involvement. We see this as the next step in the event evolving. On the playing side, we are desperate to put in a good showing following last year’s defeat. We had a number of 1st years playing last year, so they will be a year older and hopefully a bit wiser come the 27th September!”

In addition to the men’s game, the inaugural women’s varsity match will take place in the form of a sevens game, played during half-time of the main event.

Freya Gannon-Burns, a member of the Edinburgh University Women’s squad, said: “There’s a real excitement building around our squad at getting the chance to feature as part of the Scottish Varsity event. The women’s game is growing in popularity, especially in the wake of the recent World Cup, and this is a fantastic opportunity not only to showcase women’s rugby, but the talent coming through the university system. Our squad featured in the national BUCS sevens late last season, and exceeded expectations by getting to the semi-final, so we are confident going into the game.”

Both universities firmly encourage all alumni to come along and back their old colours.

Tickets for the game are free and will be available on the door, on matchday.

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