HEAD COACH: Grant Anderson


CAPTAIN: Cameron Reece


Ayr Rugby Football Club’s “Club XV” competes in the Tennent’s National League 1.

From its foundation in 1897, up until the 1960s, Ayr was a “junior” club, playing mainly in the Western Union. However, during the 1950s it gradually improved its fixture list in the old Unofficial Championship. War-time “cap” Jock “Stiffy” McClure was a regular in Inter-City games while Ayr regularly provided players for the combined Ayrshire-Renfrewshire side, which played Glasgow in trial games from which the Glasgow Inter-District squad was chosen.

Ayr had a particularly good record in the Glasgow & District Knock-Out Cup, going head-to-head with the leading Glasgow clubs. In 1960, Ayr winger Jim Black was chosen for the Inter-City match, a rare honour for a player not with an Unofficial Championship club. Ayr were finally admitted to this competition in 1968. Throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, Ayr produced players of international standard. One who played and went on to be capped out of London Scottish was Alistair Boyle.

Although supplying players to the Glasgow side (and Glasgow clubs) Ayr had to wait until 1977 for the first home-grown player to gain international honours. Winger David Ashton won his B cap against France and in the following year John Brown was in the B side at full back in the same fixture. Earlier in that decade, loose-head prop Jock Craig had sat on the bench for the Scotland B side, and been chosen for the International Trial.

In 1980 Stephen Munro won the first of his 10 full caps, against Ireland, the last coming in the Welsh match of the 1984 Grand Slam season. Probably Ayr’s finest hour in representative terms came in December 1984 when five players – skipper Alan Brown returning from serious knee injury, half backs George Nicolson and Grant Steel, and wing forwards David Brown and Colin McCallum – lined up for Glasgow against the touring Australians. The three Brown brothers certainly made an impact on rugby in Ayr. Alan skippered the team for several seasons, led the club on a Canadian Tour and carried on as coach/player. Chris McCallum, younger brother of Colin, was a member of the first Scotland Under-21 XV.

Other Ayr players who gained international caps at other clubs were Gordon Strachan, Quintin Dunlop, Derek Stark and Derrick Lee.

Strachan returned to Ayr in the late 1970s, when he captained the club. He went on to coach the team, leading them from the 3rd to the 1st division.

Quintin Dunlop captained Ayr in the late seventies after his one cap with West of Scotland.

Derek Stark, Ayr’s winger, gained B caps at Ayr, but the nine full caps came after he left the club as Ayr had been relegated to the 2nd Division.

Derrick Lee played for Ayr from the ages of 8 to 18, gaining Scotland representation at all junior age groups. Unfortunately, university in Edinburgh meant he chose a local club (Watsonians) and he gained his 12 caps during the last 10 years playing for London Scottish and Edinburgh.

Mark Bennett, now with Edinburgh, whose career began at nearby Cumnock, joined Ayr, aged 17, and played for the club prior to moving to Glasgow Warriors and Scotland. Scotland caps Ali Price and D’Arcy Rae also spent time with Ayr during their rise to international status.

In March 2009, the 1st XV made history as the first Ayr team to win the Premier Division with three games still left in the season.

The next year Ayr overpowered Melrose 36–23 to win the Scottish Cup final at Murrayfield.

Ayr retained their cup title in 2011 by beating Melrose 25–21.

Ayr went on to Murrayfield for a third consecutive final in 2012, but this time were defeated by Gala.

In 2013, with one game remaining, a 39–13 victory over Currie, the reverse fixture being the only defeat for Ayr in the league, coupled with the only challengers Gala losing, meant the Scottish Premiership returned to Millbrae. Ayr also won the Scottish Cup for the third time, beating Melrose 28–25 thanks to a Cammy Taylor try in extra time. 2012–13 was capped with Ayr named Club of the Season at the SRU Awards at Murrayfield.

In season 2018-19 Ayr won both the Tennent’s Premiership Grand Final, and one week later the Scottish Cup Final, beating Heriot’s in both matches. In the Cup Final, at Murrayfield, long-serving Kiwi stand-off Frazier Climo kicked the match-winning penalty, from the touchline, in time added on for injuries. This was the final match for the Ayr First XV. In the new season, most of the first team squad moved across to Ayrshire Bulls, to play in the FOSROC Super6, with the ‘Club XV’ being placed, along with the other five Super6 “Club XVs” in National League 1.

Ayr took part in the British & Irish Cup competition from its introduction in the 2009–10 season until the 2011–12 season. In the first year Ayr finished 4th in group D having lost to Doncaster (A), Cardiff (A) and Pontypridd (H) but beating Rotherham (H) and Birmingham and Solihull (H).

The next year Ayr finished second in the group which earned a quarter-final place, the first and only Scottish team to do so. Ayr were drawn away to Bristol where they lost 29–19.

B&I Cup rugby returned to Millbrae in 2013-14 after Ayr secured the 2013 Scottish Premiership. They were the only Scottish side to record any wins, with victories over Ulster Ravens and Jersey. They did not compete in the Cup in 2014–15 after the SRU withdrew the Scottish clubs due to lack of money.


2 Sep 2023 Glas Accies (H) W 62-11

9 Sep 2023 Biggar (A) W 36-34

16 Sep 2023 Dundee (H) W 46-24

23 Sep 2023 Melrose (A) W 35-13

30 Sep 2023 Watsonians (H) W 39-27

7 Oct 2023 Gala (A) W 28-15

14 Oct 2023 GHA (H) W 25-23

28 Oct 2023 GHK (A) W 50-7

4 Nov 2023 Glas Accies (A) W 50-29

11 Nov 2023 Biggar (H) W 40-22

18 Nov 2023 Dundee (A) W 43-15

25 Nov 2023 Melrose (H) W 69-34

9 Dec 2023 Gala (H) W 35-21

16 Dec 2023 GHK (H) W 94-24

6 Jan 2024 Highland (H) W 12-10

13 Jan 2024 Watsonians (A) L 12-36

20 Jan 2024 GHA (A) L 33-40

27 Jan 2024 Highland (A) L 12-35