The history of Scottish Rugby

The Scottish Football Union was founded in 1873, ahead of a change to fifteen-a-side (from twenty-a-side) in 1877, the formation of the International Rugby Football Board in 1886 and the instigation of a points scoring system for rugby in 1889.

The beginnings of international rugby football

Beginnings of Scottish Rugby

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.

The first nine international matches in Scotland were all played on established cricket fields. A temporary stand was erected at Raeburn place at a cost of £45.

Read more about the development of rugby in Scotland in “Rugby Union: the game comes to Scotland" (pdf).


A home for Scottish Rugby

MurrayfieldIn 1897, the Scottish Football Union, as it was then called, bought land at Inverleith.

This was the home of rugby in Scotland until the first Murrayfield Stadium was built in 1925, on ground bought from the Edinburgh Polo Club.

For a full history of Scottish Rugby’s journey to its current home at Murrayfield Stadium, see “From Raeburn Place to Murrayfield" (pdf).


The Calcutta Cup

Calcutta cupThe Calcutta Cup is an ornate silver trophy in memory of the Calcutta Football Club, which closed down just four years after it was formed.

Scotland and England compete for the cup each year.

The first Calcutta Cup match was played at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, on 10 March 1879 and ended in a draw - Scotland scored a drop goal and England a goal.

Scotland and England have contested the Calcutta Cup every year since then, except during the two World Wars. Download “The Calcutta Cup: the legacy of a club that died" (pdf).