St Andrews men target fifth consecutive Scottish Varsity title

University of St Andrews are looking to secure a fifth successive Royal Bank of Scotland Scottish Varsity title, as they announce their side to take on the University of Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield this Saturday (23 September, kick-off 6.15pm).

The women’s and men’s sides from St Andrews and Edinburgh will take to the international pitch while the second and third XVs will also meet on the back pitches.

The Varsity is one of the biggest fixtures in the Scottish rugby calendar, with only Scotland internationals, the Melrose Sevens and a handful of professional club games attracting higher attendances.

University of Edinburgh women will go in as firm favourites over their St Andrews rivals as they enter the tie undefeated in the Varsity and off the back of victory in the UK university British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Rugby Union Championship.

The St Andrews men, however, will be targeting yet more success after coming out on top in the last four Varsity games.

David Ross, men’s Head Coach at St Andrews, said: “We have been extremely successful over the past four years and we look forward to the challenge of going for five in a row.

“Edinburgh will provide the toughest test we have had this season after they had an excellent run last year. We know that with a ‘home crowd’ they rightly go into the match as favourites.

“It is all about who handles the big match occasion best and it will be a true test of nerve.”

The Edinburgh camp are looking to build on the success of both their teams over the last year.

David Adamson, men’s Head Coach at Edinburgh, said: “We’re confident after a good season – we have a big player pool and always go into the game looking for a win.

“We have a strong back-row and an exciting back three so hopefully we can win some quick ball and do something with it.

“Following on from the success of the last couple of years, tickets have been selling well so we’re hoping for a big crowd.”

Darren Burns, Student Participation Manager at Scottish Rugby, said: “Once again, we’re expecting a big crowd for this historic fixture – a great sign of the interest in Scottish student rugby.

“Our aim is to encourage more students to stay involved or try the sport for the first time through the exposure and excitement generated by the Varsityand our programmes designed to boost participation.”

Tickets are £5 for students/under 18s and £10 for adults and are available now at www.eticketing.co.uk/varsity.

Women’s match (kick-off 5pm)

University of Edinburgh Women’s First XV: Hannah Septoff; Anne McKelvey, Elizabeth Musgrove, Amy Walter, Lindsay Maguire; Helena Scullion, Rachel Law; Emma Dunbar, Hannah Kurtz, Katie Dougan, Liusaidh McMaster, Debbie Lee, Natalie Guy, Nicola Howat, Sally Stott CAPTAIN

Replacements: Rebecca Young, Caroline Parker-Smith, Alison Glass, Hannah Gaddie, Dido Denier Van Der Gon, Rachael Harkavy

University of St Andrews Women’s First XV: Shona Parratt; Alexis Jenkins, Myrtille Genot, Rhiannon Fox-Rothwell CAPTAIN, Panashe Dazambo; Abbie Henderson, Emily Jones; Kate Saunders, Beth Tappenden, Georgina Farrington, Mhari Falconer, Sisley Comish, Lucy Hellawell, Nathalie Becker, Amy Parry

Replacements: Emily Brunton, Jordan Coules, Zorra Harris, Abigail Fryer, Sophie Lieke, Lanita Gutieva, Rosanna Curtis

Men’s match (kick-off 6.15pm)

University of Edinburgh Men’s First XV: Jake Smerdon; Peter Howard, Robbie Kent, James Smith, Ben Rose; James Small-Edwards, Bruno Smith; Owen Poweel, Rob Thomas, Max Young, Ben Cogley, Tom Robertson, James Carson, Nick Stephen CAPTAIN, Scott Burnside

Replacements: James Boyle, Josh Alcock, Ed Russell, Harry Ryan, Archie Dunnill, Dave O’Sullivan, Jon Price

University of St Andrews Men’s First XV: Jacques Sharman; Roland Walker CAPTAIN, Scott MacGregor, Toby Hall, Richard De Rome; Finn Murphy, Charlie Davies; Dan Cox, Malcolm Wood-Downey, Dugald Berezford, Stephen Tue, Michael Sutherland, Alex Whyte, Alex Hodgins, TJ Akinjobi

Replacements: Max Kaufman, Jamie Morrison, Ben Peddie, Alex Kulukundis, Rob Lind, Kelvin Chen, Hamish Payne