|Full name||London Scottish Football Club|
|Union||Middlesex RFU, Scotland RU|
|Nickname(s)||The Exiles, Scottish|
|Location||Richmond, London, England|
|Ground(s)||Richmond Athletic Ground (Capacity: 4,500 (1,000 seated))|
|Director of Rugby||Bryan Redpath|
London Scottish Football Club is a rugby union club in England. The club is a member of both the Rugby Football Union and the Scottish Rugby Union. The club is currently playing in the RFU Championship. The club share the Athletic Ground with Richmond.
In early 1878, three Scottish members of a team called St. Andrew's Rovers FC decided to break away to form their own club for Scots. These men, George Grant, Neil Macglashan and Robert Arnot attracted a number of responses to a circular they sent out. The London Scottish Regiment in particular were very warm to the idea. Very soon after, on 10 April 1878, London Scottish FC was founded in The Queen's Head, in Water Lane, Blackfriars, London (universally known as MacKay's Tavern, frequently mis-recorded, as Ned Mackay the jovial Scottish landlord ran the pub), initially played on Blackheath Common, and later at Richmond Athletic Ground in Surrey.
They had a sizable fixture list and played some of the leading clubs of the time immediately, such as Ravenscourt Park Football Club and Queen's House Football Club (the latter being the only London team to have never lost to London Scottish). They also played St Andrew's Rovers that season. St Andrew's, who had lost the core of their best players lost twice to London Scottish and folded at the end of the season. London Scottish had a very successful first season, and having played 15 matches they only lost four (against already well established sides, Flamingoes, Guy's Hospital, Queen's House and Wasps).
In 1914 at the outbreak of the First World War all sixty members of the four London Scottish teams who played in their last matches in April enlisted. Fifteen survived, and one played Rugby again. They are commemorated in Mick Imlah's poem "London Scottish".
London Scottish was the first of the "Exiles" rugby clubs to be founded, and the last of the main three – after London Irish and London Welsh – to go "open" in 1996.
London Scottish made the John Player Cup Final in 1974, where they lost 26–6 against defending champions Coventry.
The club regularly featured at the Middlesex Sevens tournament, winning the trophy in 1937, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965 and 1991. They have won the Melrose Sevens three times, in 1962, 1965 and 2019.
Scottish turned professional in 1996. Tony Tiarks bought the club for £500,000 in 1996.
In the summer of 1998 Scottish, co-tenants of Richmond at the Athletic Ground, were promoted to the top division via a play-off, and Tiarks forced through an ill-fated groundshare with Harlequins and London Broncos at the Stoop Memorial Ground.
In the 1998–99 season, Scottish made their only appearance in the English Premiership. Under coach John Steele, and despite limited resources, the team finished 12th out of 14 teams, which would have saved them from relegation had they not fallen into administration at the season's end. Notable wins that season included: versus Bath (13–11), Saracens (24–7) and Newcastle Falcons (27–17). That season's squad included Scottish international stars Ronnie Eriksson, Simon Holmes and Derrick Lee, Australians Simon Fenn and Eddie Jones, and the South African Jannie de Beer.
Midway through the 1998–1999 season, Tiarks became disillusioned and discussed selling Scottish's place in the Premiership to second-division Bristol. He bailed out in the summer of 1999. The professional club London Scottish Rugby was placed into administration in 1999 and nominally merged into London Irish (who moved their games to the Stoop) along with Richmond, who were also placed into administration.
The original amateur club rejoined the RFU leagues at the bottom of the pyramid after effectively having been relegated nine divisions by the RFU. The club progressed back up through seven divisions in 10 seasons to RFU Championship for the 2011–12 season.
The club was promoted to the English National leagues (National Division Three South) for the 2007–08 season after an eight-year absence. The club was unbeaten in the 2008–09 season, earning promotion to the revamped RFU National 1 Division for the 2009–10 season. In 2009–10, the club finished second in their first season in RFU National 1 Division.
The club secured promotion to the RFU Championship for the 2011–12 season. During the 2012–13 season, the club made the switch to a full-time professional set-up, with many of the club's part-time professional players leaving and new coaches brought on board, this included former Leicester Tigers hooker James Buckland and France and London Wasps legend Serge Betsen. The fully professional set-up was credited for an impressive performance away to Championship leaders Newcastle Falcons, where three penalties brought them to the brink of a shock win, but they lost 12–9. There followed significant wins in the second half of the season, including a 26–23 victory over Bedford Blues, a 25–13 win over Nottingham and a 20–17 win away at Cornish Pirates. Scottish were still challenging for a place in the top four of the Championship until as late as March, when they were beaten by Leeds Carnegie, and they ended the season in mid-table.
The Scottish again finished mid-table in the Championship in the 2013–14 season. The team had four players named in the Championship Best XV – American international Eric Fry, Tomas Francis, Mark Bright and Championship top try-scorer Miles Mantella.
Following a mediocre 2016–17 campaign, the club appointed Loughborough Students director of rugby Dave Morris as director of rugby and the club saw a change at the top, with Malcom Offord becoming chairman of the club and Carson Russell as CEO.
Following a reduction in funding from the RFU, Scottish adopted a semi-professional model from the 2020–21 season, with players and coaches being employed part-time. Following this, in February 2021 it was confirmed that due to funding cuts and the costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic Scottish would not take part in the upcoming season.
Scottish were to leave the Athletic Ground after 127 years, with the first team temporarily relocating to Esher's rugby ground in Hersham and the rest of the club also seeking relocation. However it was later confirmed they would remain at the Athletic Ground for their return to the Championship in the 2021–22 season.
London Scottish have been great exponents of rugby sevens, winning the Melrose Sevens three times, Middlesex Sevens seven times and the Rosslyn Park London Floodlit Sevens seven times.
|1999–00||Non League (London Senior Clubs)||Ewan Kearney||Winners of Merit table|
|2000–01||Herts/Middlesex 1||Damian Lilley||Runner-up|
|2001–02||London 4 NW||Steven Wichary||Champions|
|2002–03||London 3 NW||Magnus Macdonald||Champions|
|2003–04||London 2 North||David Watt||Champions|
|2004–05||London 1||Karl Hensley||4th|
|2005–06||London 1||Karl Hensley||3rd|
|2006–07||London 1||Alex Alesbrook||Champions|
|2007–08||National Division Three South||Alex Alesbrook||4th National|
|2008–09||National Division Three South||Gary Trueman||Champions|
|2009–10||National League One||Gary Trueman||2nd|
|2010–11||National League One||Ian McInroy||Champions|
|2011–12||The Championship||Lewis Calder||9th|
|2012–13||The Championship||Lewis Calder||8th|
|1999–00||Non League||Iain Morrison||Colin McIntyre|
|2000–01||Herts/Middlesex 1||Brett Cookson||Colin McIntyre|
|2001–02||London 4 NW||Kevin Powderly||Colin Mcintyre|
|2002–03||London 3 NW||Kevin Powderly||Colin McIntyre|
|2003–04||London 2 North||Rick Scott||Colin McIntyre|
|2004–05||London 1||Rowly Williams||Colin McIntyre|
|2005–06||London 1||Rowly Williams||Colin McIntyre|
|2006–07||London 1||Terry O'Connor||Colin McIntyre|
|2007–08||National Division Three South||Terry O'Connor||Colin McIntyre|
|2008–09||National Division Three South||Brett Taylor||Colin McIntyre|
|2009–10||National League One||Brett Taylor||Colin McIntyre|
|2010–11||National League One||Simon Amor||Colin McIntyre|
|2011–12||The Championship||Simon Amor||Ross Macgregor|
|2012–13||The Championship||Simon Amor||Ross Macgregor|
|2013–14||The Championship||Simon Amor||Laurence Bruggemann|
|1987–88||National League 2||11||4||1||6||141||158||–17||9||7th|
|1988–89||National League 2||11||3||1||7||146||160||–16||7||11th|
|1989–90||National League 3||11||11||0||0||258||92||166||22||1st|
|1990–91||National League 2||12||7||0||5||240||178||62||14||5th|
|1991–92||National League 2||12||11||0||1||304||130||174||22||1st|
|1993–94||National League 2||18||6||0||12||232||325||–93||12||8th|
|2001–02||London 4 NW||18||14||0||4||533||214||319||28||1st|
|2002–03||London 3 NW||18||16||0||2||560||199||361||32||1st|
|2003–04||London 2 North||22||20||1||1||752||277||475||41||1st|
|2007–08||National Division Three South||26||17||0||9||633||410||223||83||4th|
|2008–09||National Division Three South||26||25||1||0||1092||328||764||120||1st|
|2009–10||National League One||30||22||1||7||938||569||369||108||2nd|
|2010–11||National League One||30||27||0||3||958||516||442||132||1st|
London Scottish Lions (amateur side)
|Club||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Points for||Points against||Points diff||Try bonus||Losing bonus||Points|
|Green background Champions (there is no promotion this season).|
Red background will be relegated.
Updated: 18 March 2023
Source: "The Championship". England Rugby.
For player movements before or during the 2022–23 season, see List of 2022–23 RFU Championship transfers § London Scottish.
The London Scottish squad as announced for the 2022–23 season was:
Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.
The following former London Scottish players have represented Scotland at full international level. London Scottish have produced more than 220 Scottish international players, more than any other club.
The following former London Scottish players have represented Wales at full international level.
The following former London Scottish players have represented England at full international level.
The following former London Scottish players have represented Ireland at full international level.