Aside from marking the annual culmination of the Edinburgh-St Andrews rivalry, this weekend’s Varsity holds the title of oldest university rugby match in the world. On Saturday, our rugby teams will travel south to prove their mettle in the latest iteration of this historic match.
Founded in the 1860s, the game experienced a brief hiatus before its revival in 2011. The London-based fixture attracted alumni, predominantly, all eager to see their old school teams battle for supremacy on the pitch. In 2015, the Varsity made the move to Murrayfield, a stadium befitting the match’s esteemed lineage.
Aside from the men’s 1st XV, a variety of games will be played throughout the day. Spectators can watch the men’s 2nd and 3rd XV’s compete on the pitches outside of Murrayfield itself, in anticipation of the evening games. The women’s 1st XV’s will then kick off at 17:00, marking the team’s third appearance at the Varsity. Still fresh off their 2014 / 2015 BUCS Scottish 1A League win, the women are set to make their mark on the famed pitch.
Despite its southerly location, the match will see thousands of St Andrean spectators in attendance. At nearly twenty thousand tickets total sold, it is by far the largest event associated with our University. Edinburgh may be better represented at their home stadium, but they cannot rival the passion and love for the game that will accompany the dedicated contingent of rugby fans spawned by St Andrews.
The true representation of Kingdom versus Capital, the game carries ramifications deeper than a mere rugby victory. As seen by last year’s nail-biting St Andrews win, rugby is a representation of who we are and what we can bring to the country. Our small size and sleepy location often place St Andrews on the back-burner in the eyes of Scotland; however, the triumphs of our finest University sporting clubs elevate us – physically, mentally and spiritually.