Rugby in Edinburgh
Rugby in Edinburgh has a long history. The first International rugby match to be played in Scotland was on the 27th March 1871 at Raeburn Place in Stockbridge. Scotland had issued a challenge in the Scotsman paper, which the English couldn’t ignore! Previous meetings in London had been won by the English, however Scotland won this time – one try and a goal to England’s single try. A points scoring system hadn’t yet been put in place and there were also 20 players on each team.
The game began to develop quickly in Scotland. The formation of the Scottish Football Union in 1873 saw the team size reduced to 15 players in 1877 and a points scoring system was introduced in 1889. The laws and processes changed throughout the years and are still changing as the game adapts to modern players and research.
1897 saw the purchase of land at Inverleith by the Scottish Football Union, making Scotland the first of the Home Nations to own it’s own ground. First to visit for a match was Ireland, who beat Scotland 9-3.
Murrayfield Stadium is the modern home of Scottish Rugby, the original stadium on the grounds was opened on 21st March 1925 and gave Scotland a fairytale ending to their season. With wins over France, Wales and Ireland already in the bag, Scotland went on to beat England in front of 70,000 spectators in what has been recorded as a spectacular match with an ever-changing lead. The final score was 14-11 to Scotland – their first ever Grand Slam!
The Six Nations is an annual tournament between England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy. Each team plays all the others once, with the home field advantage alternating each year. If a team wins all of their matches it’s known as a Grand Slam – Scotland have managed a Grand Slam three times, in 1925, 1984 and 1990. England hold the record of 13 Grand Slams, the most recent in the 2016 championship. Scotland will be the ‘eternal Five Nations Champions’ though, as they won the last Five Nations championship before Italy joined the tour in 2000.
These end-of-year matches are played around November each year, between Six Nations teams and other European sides, against Southern Hemisphere teams such as Australia, Argentina, New Zealand and Fiji. The Southern Hemisphere teams are known as the touring nations and can achieve a Grand Slam by beating the four home unions of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It’s only happend nine times, 4 by South Africa, 4 by New Zealand and once by Australia. New Zealand were the last team to achieve it in 2010. 2016 sees Scotland face Australia on 12th November and Argentina on the 19th November at BT Murrayfield and Georgia on the 26th November at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock. You can buy tickets here.
At The Dunstane we’re very proud of our national team and are lucky to count many legendary players, past and present, as our friends and guests. Scottish rugby legend Scott Hastings opened the Dunstane City Hotel after it’s refurb in 2007 and is a frequent visitor during the Six Nations home games. Other players such as Dan Parks, Sean Lineen and Rob Wainwright have also visited us during the tournament.
Rugby at The Dunstane
Each year we open up our gardens and serve delicious burgers and cold drinks before each Scotland home-game. We’re ideally located close to Murrayfield Stadium. If you’re walking or getting the bus from the city centre you can’t miss us on the main road! We also have great accommodation rates, make sure you book direct with us to get the best deals!