Is Rugby Popular in Scotland?

Rugby is a popular sport in Scotland, with a rich history and a strong following. The Scottish Rugby Union, which was founded in 1873, is the oldest rugby union in the world, and Scotland has a proud tradition of producing some of the best rugby players in the world.

How Popular is Rugby in Scotland?

Rugby is a popular sport in Scotland, with a strong following among both players and fans. While it may not be as popular as football, it still has a significant presence in the country, with a number of professional players, clubs, and registered players.

As of 2021, there are around 250 professional rugby players in Scotland, playing for clubs in the Pro14, European competitions, and other leagues around the world. The majority of these players are Scottish, although there are also a number of foreign players who have joined Scottish clubs over the years.

There are also around 160 rugby clubs in Scotland, which are spread across the country and cater to players of all ages and skill levels. Some of the most well-known clubs include Glasgow Warriors, Edinburgh Rugby, and Melrose RFC, which is considered to be the birthplace of rugby sevens.

In terms of registered players, there are currently around 27,000 rugby players in Scotland who are registered with the Scottish Rugby Union. This includes both amateur and professional players, as well as players of all ages, genders, and backgrounds.

Additionally, Scotland has a strong presence in international rugby competitions, with the national team regularly competing in the Six Nations tournament and the Rugby World Cup. Scottish rugby fans are known for their passion and dedication, and games between Scotland and rival teams like England or Ireland are always highly anticipated events.

Overall, while rugby may not be the most popular sport in Scotland, it still has a significant following and a thriving community of players and fans.

History of Rugby in Scotland

Rugby was first played in Scotland in the mid-19th century, and the sport quickly gained popularity among the country’s elite. In 1873, representatives from several Scottish rugby clubs met in Edinburgh to form the Scottish Rugby Union, which would go on to become one of the most successful rugby unions in the world.

Over the years, Scotland has produced some of the greatest rugby players of all time, including Gavin Hastings, Finlay Calder, and Ian McGeechan. The national team has also had a number of successful runs in international competitions, including reaching the quarterfinals of the Rugby World Cup in 1991, 1995, and 2015.

Best Scottish Rugby Players

Scotland has a rich history of producing world-class rugby players, with many going on to play for some of the best teams in the world. Some of the most notable Scottish rugby players include Gavin Hastings, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest rugby players of all time, and Finlay Calder, who captained the Scottish team to their historic Grand Slam victory in 1990.

Other notable Scottish rugby players include Jim Renwick, who scored a record-breaking 22 tries for Scotland, and David Sole, who famously led the Scottish team in their triumphant 1990 Grand Slam campaign.

Best Scottish Rugby Clubs

Scotland has a number of successful rugby clubs, including Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby, which compete in the Pro14 league against teams from Ireland, Italy, South Africa, and Wales. Other notable Scottish rugby clubs include Ayr Rugby Football Club, which has won the Scottish Cup a record-breaking 10 times, and Melrose Rugby Football Club, which is considered to be the birthplace of rugby sevens.

How Much Do Scottish Rugby Players Earn?

The salaries of Scottish rugby players can vary depending on a number of factors, such as their experience, skill level, and the team they play for. However, the average salary for a Scottish rugby player is around £80,000 per year.

The biggest salary for a Scottish rugby player is currently held by Stuart Hogg, who plays for Exeter Chiefs and Scotland’s national team. He signed a three-year contract extension with the Chiefs in 2020, which is reportedly worth around £625,000 per year.

The smallest salary for a Scottish rugby player is typically held by those who play for smaller clubs or who are just starting out in their rugby careers. These players may earn around £20,000 to £30,000 per year.

Other top-paid Scottish rugby players include Finn Russell, who currently plays for Racing 92 in France and is reported to earn around £700,000 per year, and Greig Laidlaw, who plays for Japan’s Shining Arcs and is reported to earn around £600,000 per year.

It’s worth noting that rugby players in Scotland also have the opportunity to earn additional income through sponsorship deals, endorsements, and appearances. Some of the top players may also receive bonuses for their performance on the field or for achieving certain milestones or accomplishments.

Overall, Scottish rugby players can earn a decent living from their sport, with the top players earning significant salaries. However, like many professional athletes, rugby players often have relatively short careers and must plan for their financial future accordingly.

Rivalry with England

One of the most storied rivalries in international rugby is the rivalry between Scotland and England. The two teams first played each other in 1871, and the rivalry has been intense ever since. The annual Six Nations match between Scotland and England is always a highly anticipated event, and the two teams have produced some of the most memorable moments in rugby history.


Rugby is a popular sport in Scotland with a rich history and a strong following. The country has produced some of the best rugby players in the world, and its clubs have enjoyed a great deal of success at both the national and international level. With its proud tradition and passionate fans, Scottish rugby is sure to continue to thrive for many years to come.

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