AS part of this season’s 150th anniversary celebrations, Edinburgh Academical Football Club (Edinburgh Accies) will play the world famous Barbarians on Wednesday 9 April at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh.
Scottish rugby icon John Jeffery, also a member of the Barbarian committee, will take charge of the Barbarians’ team for this match, which looks set to be another momentous occasion at the historic Raeburn Place ground.
Jeremy Richardson, chief executive of match sponsors, Cornelian Asset Managers, played at Raeburn Place between 1982-1997, is an Jonorary Life Member at Edinburgh Accies, a former Scottish internationalist and a Barbarian.
He said: “Cornelian are delighted to be helping The Accies with their celebrations.
“The Barbarians are a great draw for all rugby supporters. We are particularly pleased that Edinburgh Rugby is backing this match and that Accies have involved not only their mini-section, but also the BATs U15 team in curtain raiser matches.
“This demonstrates the commitment of Scotland’s oldest club to developing future players in partnership with other schools and clubs in the north of Edinburgh for the benefit of Scottish Rugby.”
Looking ahead to next month’s match, Edinburgh Accies captain, Dan Teague, commented: “This is a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity for the players and for the club to play against the Barbarians. I personally feel a great deal of pride that our club is being recognised in this way and that it is very important we honour this by giving a team performance and a spectacle worthy of our club’s stature.
“The Barbarians is a team all rugby fans and players can associate with; we’ve grown up watching their matches and admiring the great names that have played for them and the exciting style in which they play.“
“The match on 9th April promises to be a wonderful occasion for all Accies and rugby supporters to come to Raeburn Place and celebrate the club’s 150th year.
“With a crowd of up to 3,000 expected, there’ll be a great atmosphere. The club have put a great deal of planning into the event and I look forward to captaining the Accies 1st XV on what will be a memorable day.”
Tickets for this All Ticket match are available online via www.edinburghrugby.org or via the Ticket Hotline: 0131 346 5180.
Says a spokesperson: “The Barbarians is a touring rugby club that brings together players from different clubs to play a few matches each year to play attacking, adventurous rugby without the pressure of having to win. The Barbarians themselves have an illustrious history, dating back to 1890, when W P Carpmael, a player from Blackheath saw an opportunity to extend the rugby playing season, which at that time finished in March.
“He invited a group of players, comprising friends from various clubs who were normally opponents, and they toured the North of England. It was such a success that he formed the Barbarian Football Club to continue touring on an informal basis. The club has remained a touring club and since 1890 players from 25 different countries have worn the famous black and white hoop Barbarian jersey.
“The history of rugby in Scotland is inextricably linked with the history of Edinburgh Accies, which is the second oldest rugby club in the world (Trinity College, Dublin is the oldest). Raeburn Place, the club ground, hosted the first Scotland v England rugby international in 1871 and the first Calcutta Cup match was played there in 1879.
“Accies also has the distinction of having more players capped for Scotland, than any other Scottish club. They include Scotland’s Grand Slam captain Phil McPherson in 1925, the oldest surviving Scottish internationalist, 100 year old Mac Henderson, who was capped three times in 1933 at wing forward and was part of the Scotland team that won the Triple Crown by beating England, Wales and Ireland.
“The list reads like a Who’s Who of Scottish rugby – and also includes: Douglas Elliott in the 40s/50s, Rodger Arneil in the 60/70s, David Sole, Rob Wainwright, David McIvor, John Allan, Jeremy Richardson, Rowan Shepherd and Tom Philip, who was the 100th Edinburgh Academy former pupil to be capped for a home nations team.”
Current Scotland captain, Mike Blair, and his younger brother, Dave, who both recently signed a further two-year deal with Edinburgh Rugby, are also former Accies players.
Speaking of the club’s anniversary, Mike Blair, said: “Edinburgh Accies has a fantastic history and I really enjoyed the two years I played at Raeburn Place. The club continues to encourage rugby at all levels, with five or six senior teams turning out each weekend, plus great mini and youth rugby – hopefully there’ll be many more Accies playing for Scotland over the next 150 years!”
Notes to Editors:
1. Tickets for this all-ticket match are available online via www.edinburghrugby.org or via the ticket hotline; 0131 346 51802.
2. The Edinburgh Academical Football Club (EAFC) is the oldest club in Scotland and the second-oldest in the world (behind Trinity College, Dublin).
3. The EAFC ground at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh is the location of the first-ever rugby international between Scotland and England in 1871. (Scotland won!)
4. The Edinburgh Academy (school) annual match against Merchiston Castle was first played in 1858 and is the oldest regular fixture still in existence.* The 150th Anniversary Match between the Edinburgh Academy and Merchiston will be played at Raeburn Place on 1st November 2008.
5. The first Calcutta Cup match was played at Raeburn Place in 1879 and resulted in a draw.
6. EAFC was one of the founding members of the Scottish Football Union in 1873 (renamed the Scottish Rugby Union in 1925).
7. Edinburgh Academicals’ 1st XV is currently playing in Division 1 of the Scottish Hydro Electric Premiership (2007/2008).
8. EAFC have approximately 230 registered playing members and regularly put out five or six teams at the weekend.
9. EAFC have a tie up with Broughton High School, Trinity Academicals and Edinburgh University (BATs), which promotes rugby for all ages and abilities to the whole of north Edinburgh and are particularly active in schools.
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