Scotland A national rugby union team

The Scotland A team are the second national rugby union team behind the Scottish national side. The first Scotland ‘A’ fixture took place in 1990.

Not to be confused with Scotland A national rugby league team.

Scotland A
Union Scottish Rugby Union
Emblem(s) the Thistle
Coach(es) Shade Munro
1st kit
2nd kit
First match
Scotland ‘A’  39–7 Spain
Largest win
Scotland ‘A’  99–0  Netherlands
Largest defeat
Scotland A  3–60 Ireland A
(1 March 2002)

. . . Scotland A national rugby union team . . .

Unlike association football, where the main team is supposed to be the “A” team, Scotland ‘A’ in rugby union is actually equivalent to the Scotland B football team. The Scotland ‘A’ side in rugby union is classed as a senior national side, along with the full national side and the Scotland 7s international side. When players play for any of these 3 senior sides; they commit their nationality to Scotland; and cannot then normally switch nationality to another international side. The parlance used deems these sides as ‘capture’ sides.

There was a history of national development sides in Scotland before the national ‘A’ side was introduced. The non-cap Scotland XV side started in 1969, the Scotland ‘B’ side introduced in 1971 was for uncapped players; and the start of the age-grade pathway sides – like the Under 21 side – which began in 1984.

Scotland’s status as one of the leading rugby nations in the Northern Hemisphere, made the SRU look to field a second team, first known as Scotland XV, which can play at the same level, sometimes even superior, of many second and third tier nations first sides. This team was a development side and players selected were not given caps and not tied to Scotland.

The Scotland XV first played in 1969, beating an Argentina side 20 – 3. These non-cap matches have proven controversial and there was a campaign to get players that were capped by the Scotland XV side as full caps. However the campaign failed; and these XV matches remain non-capped matches.

Scotland XV represented Scotland during the 1999 Rugby World Cup – European qualification, easily defeating Portugal by 85–11, and Spain by 85–3, in Murrayfield.

The launch of the Scotland ‘B’ side in 1971 provided uncapped players another route for recognition; this was a development side; no fully capped players were eligible.[1] Like the Scotland XV side before it, this was not a ‘capture’ side.

The start of the Scotland age-grade teams in 1984 – on the launch of the national Under 21 side – were another pathway. Age-grade sides are not intended to be ‘capture’ sides; and their use as capture sides up to and including the Under 20 age-group range has now been banned by World Rugby.

. . . Scotland A national rugby union team . . .

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. . . Scotland A national rugby union team . . .

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