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Club History.

 
ALTHOUGH Selkirk Rugby Club was not officially instituted until 1907, the game of rugby was played in the Royal & Ancient Burgh long before this date. Indeed Selkirk sent a team to the inaugural Melrose Sevens tournament back in 1883. The club officially took over its present Philiphaugh ground in 1926, moving from the adjacent cricket field, and inaugurated the new stand and pitch with a match against old rivals Gala.

To date, the Selkirk club has produced a total of 14 Scotland internationalists, the best known being fly-half John Rutherford, who gained 42 caps for his country and represented the British Lions in New Zealand in 1983, scoring a try against the All Blacks in the Dunedin test. The full roll call of Selkirk RFC's Scotland internationalists is as follows:

Willie Bryce (1922-24) 11 caps, Jack Waters (1933-37) 16 caps, Jim Inglis (1952) 1 cap, Jock King (1953-54) 4 caps, Ronnie Cowan (1961-62) 5 caps, John Rutherford (1979-87) 42 caps, Iain Paxton (1981-88) 36 caps, Gordon Hunter (1984-85) 4 caps, Gregor Mackenzie (1984) 1 cap, Iwan Tukalo (1985-92) 36 caps, Graham Marshall (1988-91) 4 caps, Scott Nichol (1994) 1 cap, Lee Jones (2012 - ) 4 caps, Alex Dunbar (2013 - ) 16 caps.
Four players have represented the British Lions: Jack Waters (SA, 1938), Ronnie Cowan (SA, 1968), John Rutherford (NZ, 1983) and Iain Paxton (NZ, 1983).

Selkirk Rugby Club's finest hour came in season 1952-53, when the 1st XV - captained by that great rugby character George Downie - won its first and only Scottish Club Championship in addition to the Border League title. Selkirk has lifted the Border League title on five other occasions – 1935, 1938 and three back-to-back titles in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Meanwhile the club's 'A' XV has twice won the Border District League: in season 1929/30 and again in 1976/77. Selkirk’s prowess on the sevens circuit has seen the club win numerous local tournaments, as well as lifting two ‘Kings of the Sevens’ titles - in 2007 and 2008.

The club's first overseas tour was made to Toronto in 1979, with the team winning all five of its matches. Three further trips have been made to Canada. In the 1990s, Selkirk appeared no fewer than three times at Murrayfield in cup competition finals, winning both the Bowl and the Shield events. The club has also made an appearance in the Middlesex Sevens at Twickenham. In addition to running two club XVs, Selkirk has an active mini-rugby section called the Selkirk Rhinos, while its over-35 team (Selkirk Rugby Veterans) has travelled throughout Europe and plays once a month during the rugby season.

The club has suffered three flooding incidents in recent years - in 1977, in 2003 and again in 2004. The 2003 flood proved the most costly, with the clubrooms and main pitch flooded up to a depth of three feet. Over £350,000 worth of damage was caused to the buildings alone, with the lounge bar and kitchen having to be knocked down and rebuilt. Players, officials and supporters were quick to volunteer their services in the post-flood clean-up, with financial assistance being given by Selkirk's Common Good Fund, Ettrick & Lauderdale District Sports Council and the Scottish Rugby Union. Interest-free loans and donations were also forthcoming from club members and supporters.


Then, in the early hours of Friday, August 13, 2004 - just two days after Selkirk's first-ever SRU President, Bert Duffy, had officially opened the new lounge bar - disaster struck again, when floodwater swept once more through Selkirk's premises following days of persistent rainfall. Although the new building was not affected - having been constructed one metre above ground level - accommodation under the grandstand was badly hit. Another clean-up operation was launched, and further assistance from the Common Good Fund and also Scottish Borders Council helped mitigate the scale of the catastrophe. Selkirk Rugby Club has undeniably emerged stronger from these recent travails, and can look forward with confidence to the next 100 years of its existence
 

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