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The University of Edinburgh Performance Sport Programme is one of the most highly regarded of its kind in the UK and enables athletes to achieve a world-class degree and perform to the best of their ability.

The Men’s Rugby programme was founded in 2011 and is one of the strongest in the UK; the 1st XV are currently the only Scottish representative playing in BUCS Premier North A.

The programme provides dedicated support to its players, and has seen them compete in national championships and even led to pathways into performance rugby for some athletes.


Established in 1857, Edinburgh University Rugby Football Club is one of the oldest rugby clubs in the world and one of the eight founder members of the Scottish Rugby Union.

The club’s first ever match was in December 1857 against Edinburgh Academicals FC, and in 2007 the two clubs replayed that fixture to celebrate the 150th anniversary, using replica period kit, ball and complying to the older rules.

In 1871 club member Angus Buchanan scored the first ever International try, playing alongside university teammates J.Forsyth and J.L.H MacFarlane in the inaugural International match whilst representing Scotland versus England at Raeburn Place.

EURFC has produced 72 young full-international players who represented their countries whilst still students, and many more international players worldwide who played for the University prior to being capped.



Eric Liddell
Scotland and Olympic 400m Gold Medallist
Eric Liddell was a Scottish Olympic Gold Medallist runner, rugby union international player, and Christian missionary, and graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pure Science.

As chronicled in the 1981 film Chariots of Fire, at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, Liddell refused to run in the heats for his favoured 100 metres because they were held on a Sunday. Instead he competed in the 400 metres held on a weekday, a race that he won.

Whilst at university Liddell ran in the 100-yard and 220-yard races and played rugby for the student club, from which he gained a place in the backline of a strong Scotland national team, scoring four tries. In 1923 he won the AAA Championships in athletics in the 100-yard race (setting a British record of 9.7 seconds that would not be equalled for 23 years) and 220-yard race (21.6 seconds).

The Eric Liddell High Performance Scholarships have been created in memory of one of the University’s sporting greats, and exists to help the most talented student athletes attain their sporting ambitions.


David Bedell-Sivright
Scotland and British & Irish Lions
David Bedell-Sivright was a Scottish international rugby union forward who captained both Scotland and the British Isles.

Born in Edinburgh, and educated at Fettes College where he learned to play rugby, he studied at Trinity College Cambridge University and earned four Blues playing for them in the Varsity Match. He later completed his medical training at the University of Edinburgh.

He was first selected for Scotland in 1900 in a match against Wales and after playing in all of Scotland’s Home Nations Championship matches in 1901-1903, toured with the British Isles side – now known as the British & Irish Lions – that toured South Africa in 1903. The next year Bedell-Sivright was appointed captain for the British Isles team that toured Australia and New Zealand.

Bedell-Sivright was an inaugural inductee into the Scottish Rugby Hall of Fame, and in 2013 was inducted into the International Rugby Board (IRB) Hall of Fame.

EURFC have introduced The Bedell-Sivright Scholarship Fund to be used to attract the best young talent to study and play rugby for The University of Edinburgh. The Fund will also help support current club players in times of hardship and promote community engagement.


Ian Smith
‘The Flying Scot’, Scotland
Ian Smith was a rugby union wing who played 32 Tests for Scotland and two Tests for the British Isles.

Born in Melbourne, Australia, and brought up in New Zealand, Smith moved to England and was educated at Winchester College, before studying at Oxford University and later Edinburgh University.

At Oxford he took up rugby, playing in the 1923 Varsity Match against Cambridge and scoring two tries. He was eventually selected for Scotland, for whom he was eligible because of his Scottish parents and toured with the British Isles (now known as the British and Irish Lions) to South Africa in 1924. Smith also represented the Barbarians and played all four matches in Scotland’s first ever Five Nations Grand Slam in 1925.

He represented Scotland until 1933 when he captained them in their Triple Crown winning season. His 24 international tries, all scored in the Five Nations or Home Nations, was an international record until 1987 and a record for the Five/Six Nations until 2011.


Dan Drysdale
Scotland and British & Irish Lions
Daniel Drysdale was a Scottish international rugby union player, who played for Scotland and the British and Irish Lions.

Born in Kippen, Stirlingshire, Drysdale was educated at George Heriots School before continuing his studies at Edinburgh and then Oxford, playing rugby for both university clubs,

Heriot’s FP and London Scottish FC.

Drysdale won 26 caps for Scotland between 1923-1929, played for the Barbarians and represented the British and Irish Lions on their tour to South Africa in 1924. He was also President of the Scottish Rugby Union between 1951-2


Andy Irvine
Scotland and British & Irish Lions
Andy Irvine is a former President of the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU), and a former Scottish international rugby player.

Irvine was educated at George Heriot’s School and from there went on to study at the University of Edinburgh. As fullback for Scotland, he won 51 caps between 1972–82, captaining the team on 15 occasions, scoring ten tries and amassing 250 points.

Irvine went on three British and Irish Lions tours, earning caps versus South Africa (1974), New Zealand (1977) and South Africa (1980). He scored 156 points in fifteen games on the 1974 Lions tour and also played for the Barbarians during their 1976 Easter Tour.

Irvine was elected President of the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) in 2005 and held the position for two years, stepping down in June 2007. He went on to become the tour manager for the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour of Australia – the first successful Lions’ tour since 1997.

In the 1979 Honours Irvine was made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to Rugby Football in Scotland and in 2002 he was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame. He is also an inductee of the International Rugby Hall of Fame.


Dave Adamson

Dave Adamson
Head Coach

Callum Black

Callum Black
Forwards Coach

Andrew Bell

Andrew Bell
Backs Coach

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