THE RUGBY PROGRAMME
The University of St Andrews has developed one of the best-supported rugby programmes in the UK, which enables students to harness their full potential and excel in both their academic and sporting achievements.
Saints Rugby provides a comprehensive programme of training and competition, which caters for all levels of ability, focuses on an athlete-centred approach, development, hard work and enjoyment.
The programme currently caters for three Men’s teams and two Women’s teams that compete in the BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) championships.
Founded in 1858, the University of St Andrews Rugby Football Club is one of the oldest sports clubs at the University and is the sixth oldest rugby club in the world.
The club is a founder member of the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) and has been an integral part of the University for 160 years.
In 1871 in the first international between Scotland and England at Raeburn Place, three St Andrews students, A Clunies-Ross, R Munro and J S Thomson represented Scotland, showing the importance of the club at that time.
The Women’s Section of the Rugby Club was founded in 1985 as one of the first women’s university rugby sides in Scotland.
The club has gone on to produce 25 international rugby players who between them have gained over 150 international caps, including four British & Irish Lions and eight players who have represented the Barbarians.
“If ‘carrying’ was initiated at Rugby, ‘passing’, the great feature of the back game, came from St Andrews.”
Christopher Nicolson Johnston
Annabel took up rugby at university, having graduated with a joint degree in Microelectronics and Photonics from St Andrews and Dundee universities in 2010. She was top scorer in the National League in 2006/07 and played for Scotland Women’s Development side against France, the Police and Army teams.
Annabel made her international debut against France, off the bench, in the away opener to the 2011 Six Nations. She played in all four tournaments during the debut Scotland Women 7s season in 2012 scoring a try and a conversion at the FIRA-AER European qualifier in Ghent and seven tries at the FIRA WRWC qualifier in Moscow.
She continued into the 2013 Grand Prix events in Brive and Marbella, scoring a try against Portugal and a conversion against England, in Spain. She also took part in the Tobago 7s in December 2012.
After spending 3 years in New Zealand Annabel returned to the UK where she reignited her International career, making appearances in 2018 and 2019, and has now represented Scotland 25 times, and scored three tries.
Jon played for the University 1st XV as full back in his first year as an undergraduate and also played for Scottish Universities. In his second year he moved back to his home club, Dundee High School, and progressed to mixing it with the forwards and eventually becoming one of them as a back-row player. As required by his degree he spent his third year in France at Colomiers learning the language and also playing rugby for Colomiers.
In 1997 he was offered a professional rugby contract with Caledonia Reds and decided to follow the relatively unknown, potentially precarious and untrodden path of a professional rugby player. Caledonia Reds was subsumed under Glasgow Warriors in 1998. Jon played a total of 167 games for the Warriors up to his retirement in 2007, the most games played by anyone within the club and most of them from his favoured position of No 8. He captained the Warriors for three of his nine playing seasons.
On the bigger stage of national honours he gained 45 caps for Scotland from 2000-2006, was captain in the 2005 season, played in all back row positions and scored three international tries.
(Ireland, British & Irish Lions, Barbarians)
During his first two years and occasionally thereafter, Tyrone played for the University 1st XV. In his third and fourth years, he flew home on Friday to play for Dungannon and returned on Sunday afternoon.
After graduating he went to Oxford University where he gained a Blue in the Varsity match against Cambridge. In the following year, he captained the Oxford team.
Ulster caps followed along with professional rugby and, when he retired from Ulster Rugby in 2006, he had gained 100 caps for the province. One of the highlights of his career was to return to St Andrews in 2005 for a pre-season training camp with Ulster Rugby in 2005.
He represented Ireland 14 times between 2000-2004, scoring six tries and played for the British and Irish Lions on their Australia Tour of 2001.
(England, England 7s, Barbarians)
During his first two years and occasionally thereafter, Damian played for the University 1st XV, gaining his Blue and also representing Scottish Universities. The lure of higher level rugby from Wasps and more than a passing interest by the England selectors, however, culminated in the decision by Damian to make the regular long weekend rugby commute to London in years three and four of his student days.
After graduating from St Andrews he took a one year postgraduate course at Cambridge University where he gained a second Blue. Rugby honours and representative rugby quickly followed. In the course of a very abbreviated and truncated rugby career, Damian made 14 England appearances including three full caps, he was a World Cup 7’s winner, gained various honours with his home club, Wasps, and played for the Barbarians.
Unfortunately, Damian was forced to retire from professional rugby in 1997 after a series of knee operations. The lack of support available to professional rugby players at that time led Damian to found the Professional Rugby Players Association. He has been instrumental as the lead negotiator on all player related agreements for both the England team and the British and Irish Lions over the past seven years. His influence as Chief Executive ensures that player’s rights are protected and represented at all levels of the sport, and he is currently Chairman of the International Rugby Players Association.
(Scotland, British & Irish Lions, Barbarians)
Chris played for the University 1st XV in the seasons 1964-66 and during the same period he played for Scottish Universities and also he captained British Universities against France in 1966.
Chris gained 13 caps for Scotland between 1968 and 1971 playing at centre threequarter, and scoring three tries. His consistently high performance levels earned recognition with selection for the British and Irish Lions on their 1971 tour to New Zealand. He scored three tries on this tour, which was the first touring party and to win a test series in New Zealand.
His home clubs were West of Scotland and Headingley, he also played for Dundee High School and Sale. In his post playing years Chris continued to be involved with rugby through broadcasting and writing, working for the International Rugby Board (now known as World Rugby) where he has served as Head of Communications and Broadcast Controller.
Director of Rugby
Scott was appointed Director of Rugby at the University of St Andrews in 2017 after an extensive international career playing for Scotland, gaining 47 caps. He joined the University from Newcastle Falcons, bringing a wealth of experience playing Premiership rugby for over a decade.
Scott started his rugby career at Biggar RFC, before earning a professional contract at Glasgow Warriors, spending four seasons playing in the Pro12 before a move to the Premiership, spending a season with Sale before moving to Gloucester Rugby for four years.
In addition to his playing commitments with Newcastle Falcons, Scott was Director of Rugby at National Two North Club Tynedale RFC, having previously been an Elite Specialist Skills Coach with Scottish Rugby. Scott is also a member of the Scotland U20 coaching team
1st XV Backs Coach
Former Western Samoan international Quintan Sanft joined the coaching setup at Saints Rugby in 2018, where he took on the role of 1st XV Backs Coach.
Sanft was born in Apia, the capital of Samoa but moved to New Zealand when he was a teenager. Honours soon came his way with appearances for the New Zealand schools, under-19 and under-21 sides, culminating in a contract with the New Zealand RFU.
Looking to do something a little bit different in the summer off-season away from the New Zealand 7s circuit, Sanft moved to Scotland to play for Kirkcaldy in the national leagues. After a spell with Biggar Rugby Cub, he moved back to the Fife club in 2005 to take on the role of Player Coach.
Representing Western Samoa in the early 2000s, his last against Scotland at BT Murrayfield, Sanft made a return to international rugby on the sevens circuit in 2004, and again in 2009 at IRB International Sevens events in London and Edinburgh.