The South (Rugby)

The South (Rugby)

The South was a select rugby union Team that drew its players from over the South of Scotland mainly the Scottish Borders, where there has always been a proud tradition of rugby union.

Attendances at 'South' games often numbered well into the thousands (example, an attendance of 10,000 at the South versus All Blacks (New Zealand) match in 1972 at Hawick) and before the onset of professionalism, The South would often play touring national sides, such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa before they played the national side Fact|date=August 2007.

As many of the Border sides, most notably Gala, Hawick, Selkirk and Jed Forest, produced many international players and even Lions, the South proved worthy competition for the touring sides from the Southern Hemisphere. The South twice drew with South African touring sides (1931-32 and 1969-70) and twice beat Australian touring teams (1966-67 and 1984-85).

With the advent of professionalism after 1995, the Scottish Rugby Union realised that not even the best semi-professional Scottish club teams could compete in the new Professional Era in rugby union, which was beginning to gain great momentum in the professional leagues of the Southern Hemisphere and the Northern Hemisphere. In an attempt to stay in touch with the leading nations the Scottish Rugby Union formed four professional teams, that would compete in the Heineken Cup and later a new Celtic League. These teams were based on the 4 former District Unions in Scotland, and a team now known as The Border Reivers began playing games in Galashiels and Hawick, the team wear the traditional white and red stripes, favoured by The South for their home games.

For subsequent history of teams representing the South of Scotland, see The Border Reivers.

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