The first rugby club from Dumfries to be admitted to the SRU was Dumfries Rangers in 1876/77. The club re-emerged in 1901 as Dumfries (without the ‘Rangers’) and after a lapse was re-admitted to the SRU in 1923 as Dumfries RFC.
The club played at Downfield until 1939 and then at Marchfield and Summerhill. Then came a major turning point in 1953 when the club negotiated a deal with Dumfries Show Society to play at Park Farm.
We are currently working on increasing the historical content of the web site so any pictures or news articles would be welcome. Please contact Issy Rainey if you would like to contribute. To whet your appetite a profile of the Club was featured in the August 1991 edition of Scottish Rugby magazine.
We have adopted the name of Dumfries Saints to reflect the link to Saint Michael and the town crest, which has always been used by the club. The club reached a high in the early 90’s when it was promoted to National Division 3. Unfortunately it fell upon hard times and by season 2002-03 only just survived in the lowest national league.
The club decided that it was not ready to fold and set about re-establishing itself as a serious rugby club. The efforts of a small committee of volunteers and young squad of players, largely developed through the clubs mini and junior sections have taken the club forward to new levels.
Dumfries Saints now run two adult male and an adult female side. We also have an under 18s team and run Mini teams for boys and girls at every age group from P4 up to Under 17s and Micros for P1, P2 and P3. This involves a total of over 200 active players of all ages and a large group of qualified volunteer coaches and helpers.
At senior level the club had a great run in the “Noughties” resulting in four consecutive championship wins and a promotion with the club climbing from National 5B to National 1. Whilst doing so, Dumfries have also enjoyed significant cup success, defeating teams from several divisions above us on numerous occasions, including Premiership sides. This was achieved with a largely home grown squad of young players with an average age of less than 23 years old. During this period the club has also enjoyed district success at Under 18, Under 16 and Under 15 levels.
In the season 2006-07 all club sides either won their respective leagues or achieved promotion in second place, this included the First XV, Second XV, Under 18s, Under 16s and Under 15s. In October 2006 Dumfries was awarded the SRU Club of the Month title and in May 2007 received the SRU Club of the Year trophy. These awards reflect on all the club’s activities from Primary 4 upwards and on the work of all those involved with the club. In 2007-08 both the first and second XV achieved promotion, whilst the Under 18s again won the regional league.
The club again reached the 3rd Tier of Scottish Rugby in 2010/11 finishing 3 in National 2 which was 27th place in Scottish Rugby. The SRU restructured the National Leagues into East and West for two seasons and when they changed back Saints found themselves in National 3. They came close to promotion for a couple of seasons before winning National 3 in 2016/17.
Dumfries Saints hope to remain in the National Leagues. It is however an amateur club and will remain so. The club initiated a development plan, which incorporated a youth academy and it is hoped this will ensure that more young people play rugby and more young adults remain active in the sport.
In April 2007 the club recruited its first full time Club Development Officer, in partnership with the SRU and Dumfries and Galloway Council. it has raised the profile of the game and the club in local schools and in the community. In August 2007 the club also enrolled its first youngster on the SRU SVQ Sports Development programme. Our area has a full time Rugby Development Officer and an SVQ assistant and it is hoped that the club is now equipped to pursue its development plan and increase the number of people of all ages active in the sport.
In season 2016/17 the club achieved promotion to National Division 2 and in the 2017/18 season missed promotion by only one point finishing 3rd in National 2 the highest position in the clubs history. Not only that but they beat Kelso RFC in the final to win the 2018 National League Cup. To top of a successful year the club won SP Energy Community Club of the Year and SRU Club of the Month for April.
In season 2018/19 the club narrowly missed out on promotion again finishing 3rd in National
The club is keen to continue to develop its coaching capacity, to offer opportunities for more young people to experience rugby and to increase the use of its facilities by other community sports clubs and organisations. If it can continue to be successful whilst achieving these wider goals then Dumfries will have a rugby club it can be proud of.
Article from The Scottish Referee. Monday March 22nd 1897
First rugby goal for Dumfries.
Dumfries 1 goal. Kilmarnock 0
This game was played at Eastfield, Dumfries. The previous match at Killie ended in favour of the home club by a try, but on Saturday Dumfries managed to turn the tables, and Ferguson converted a try, in the getting of which Muir was conspicuous. This is the first goal kicked for Dumfries since the team commended at the start of the year.