Rugby (Men)

Edinburgh University Rugby Club is going into its fifth season as part of the Team Performance Programme at the University of Edinburgh.

Men's rugby player catching ball from lineout


One of the most highly regarded of its kind in the UK, the University of Edinburgh Performance Sport Programme enables athletes to achieve a world-class degree and perform to the best of their ability. Our Men’s Rugby programme was founded in 2011. Since then, it has provided dedicated support to its players, seen them compete in national championships and even led to pathways into performance rugby for some athletes.

We pride ourselves on developing players with potential and a positive attitude into performance athletes. In return for your dedication and hard work, we will offer you world-class training facilities and support to allow you to be the best you can be:

  • 1 Professional Head Coach
  • Defence and Scrummaging Coach
  • Skills and Attack Coach
  • Lineout and Breakdown Coach
  • Full-time Strength & Conditioning support
  • Academic support
  • Performance lifestyle support
  • Nutritional advice
  • Mental skills training and assistance
  • Access to the world-renowned FASIC Sport & Exercise Medicine Clinic
  • Detailed individualised video analysis and GPS data
Scott Robeson, rugby player scoring a try

During my time at the University of Edinburgh, I stepped up to play semi-professional rugby in the Fosroc Super6 league with Boroughmuir Bears while also progressing with my engineering degree. I believe I would not have been able to progress in the way I did without the physical and psychological support and the world-class facilities available to me through the performance program.

The club play in the BUCS Northern Premier A on a weekly basis playing against the top competition across the UK.

The club has a strong history of producing top class players including 55 Scottish, 12 Irish and 5 English internationalists.

The university also takes part in an annual Varsity match against St Andrews University. Played at BT Murray Field, the event attracts over 10.000 fans who witness the oldest rivalry in university rugby clubs in the UK.

A selection of our recent successes:

  • Consistently ranked in the UK Top 20 University Rugby Clubs
  • Several players involved in Scottish Rugby's 'Fosroc Super 6' Competition
  • BUCS Premier North A 4th place finish 2018/19
  • Scottish Varsity Winners 2017/18
  • BUCS Premier North B Winners 2016/17
  • BUCS Trophy Runners Up 2016/17
Edinburgh Skyline

Edinburgh mixes architectural beauty and history with a lively, fun environment and has regularly been voted as one of the most desirable places to live in the world. As part of our Performance Programme, you will develop your athletic and academic skills in tandem, competing for one of the United Kingdom’s best sporting higher education institutions and studying at a university that is consistently ranked in the top 50 in the world:

  • Over 650 degree programmes
  • Flexible study
  • Ranked 10th in the UK for graduate employability by the Times Higher Education, Global Employability Ranking 2018

Find out more about studying at Edinburgh

We support elite athletes during the University application process by crediting athletic attainment.

Find out more about our Elite Athlete Policy:

Elite Athlete Policy

Dave Adamson, Head of Performance Men's Rugby

  Head of Performance Rugby, Dave Adamson

Dave has been a coach at Edinburgh University since 2010. During his time he has led the club to some great success.

Dave is UKCC Level 3 Qualified and SRU S&C Level 1 qualified. He has been coaching for a number of years with some highlights of his coaching career include:

  • Edinburgh Rugby Pro-alignment Assistant Coach 2022
  • Scotland Students Head Coach 2018-20
  • Stirling County RFC Head Coach 2015-17
  • Edinburgh U20 Attack Coach 2013-15
  • SRU Specialist Skills Coach 2011-14
  • Edinburgh U18 Head Coach 2012-13

David also has playing experience to add to his resume. Some of his playing highlights are as follows :

  • Scotland U18s-U21s
  • Scotland Thistles 7s
  • Caledonian Reds U18 to Senior

With University rugby becoming ever more competitive year on year, we are always looking to attract the best young players from around the UK and beyond. We are unique in that we are able to offer top level coaching in world class facilities, whilst players study for a world class degree. Our programme caters for players who wish to continue to play high level rugby whilst studying, and we are also able to provide pathways into the professional game through our close links with Edinburgh Rugby and Watsonians FC’s Super 6 team.


Peffermill 3G

We have access to a World Rugby approved 3G pitch where our sessions take place, located at Peffermill Playing Fields.

The team currently have a minimum of three pitch sessions, one skill session (with others arranged on a one-to-one basis) and three S&C and two conditioning sessions per week. We also have access into our medical clinic at the University for the selected Performance Players within the Men's Rugby Programme. 

We offer a number of named scholarships available through the application process.

Eric Liddell High Performance Scholarships: Created in memory of one of the University’s sporting greats to help our most talented student athletes attain their sporting ambitions.

The University of Edinburgh Elite Athlete Scholarship Fund: Awarded to support talented student athletes with the purpose of enhancing their dual career (academic and sporting) ambitions and positioning the University as the UK’s foremost Higher Education Institution for performance sport.

The University of Edinburgh is also part of the Winning Students Network, which provides financial scholarships from the Scottish Funding Council to support student athletes.

Further information about sport specific scholarships

Further Information about University scholarships and funding

The University of Edinburgh is a UK Anti-Doping accredited institution. We are fully committed to clean sport principles and educating all of our athletes in applying these principles correctly. Please feel free to read through our full Clean Sport Policy.

Clean Sport Policy

Ready to tackle the challenge?

We are always looking for ambitious, academic athletes to realise their potential with us. Our aim is to train, develop and retain some of the finest rugby talent in the country. We look forward to welcoming the next generation of rugby players to our Performance Programme and hope to hear from you soon.

David Adamson

Head of Performance Men's Rugby

Contact details