Flurry of Changes ahead of County Encounter

Ayrshire Bulls Head Coach Pat MacArthur has made a flurry of changes to his side ahead of tomorrow night’s (Fri 19 Aug) encounter with Stirling County at Bridgehaugh.


MacArthur and his coaching staff have been tweaking away to the squad each week but tomorrow’s line-up sees the biggest change yet.


In the front row, both Alex McGuire and Calvin Henderson earn their first starts of the season after numerous features from the bench in recent weeks. Ruairidh Sayce retains the one jersey with George Thornton still out of action. The second row remains an area of consistency, with Ed Bloodworth and Tom Everard named side-by-side for the fourth consecutive matchday.


In the back row Gavin Wilson drops out of the squad with Rory Jackson stepping in at openside. Jackson made his Ayrshire Bulls debut off the bench at the Greenyards last weekend. Ryan Sweeney and skipper Blair MacPherson hold onto the six and eight jersey respectively.


Familiar face Harry Warr also earns a first start of the season, stepping in for Jordan Lenac. Matt Minogue swaps last week’s subs jersey with Christian Townsend to start at ten.


There’s one more change in the backs with Aaron Tait named at eleven.


Rhodri Tanner is on the pine for the first time, with Michael Scott and Craig Miller completing the front row replacements. Jamie Drummond, who replaced Tanner at hooker last week for his debut, is named in the 20 jersey to provide back-row cover.


With Lenac missing out Club XV scrum-half and recent Ayr/Wellington U18s graduate Adam McGowan is called up for emergency cover. He will make his debut if called upon.


Eli Caven completes the 23-man squad.


The match kicks off at 19.30 under the lights at Bridgehaugh. If you can’t make it to Stirling then you can stream live on BBC iPlayer and scottishrugby.org.


Full squad below:

Late Comeback Not Enough for Beaten Bulls

The Ayrshire Bulls suffered their second defeat of the season this afternoon at the hands of Southern Knights at the Greenyards.

Despite holding a 10-13 lead at the break the Southern Knights managed to grab control of proceedings in the second half, finishing the job 22-20.

(SNS//Scottish Rugby)


At full-time whistle head coach Pat MacArthur was a man of few words, disappointed that his men couldn’t capitalise on opportunities his men created: “We had chances to score in their 22.


“The Knights held on in there, scored an opportunistic try, but if you look at territory in the oppositions 22 I think if we can convert these chances that are slipping away we’ll be in a really good place”.

When reflecting on positives MacArthur mentioned the squad being able to snatch a losing bonus point late in the game, but the initial sting of defeat remained the overriding emotion: “The boys are gutted. They understand that the game was there for them to win. Unfortunately, a few things didn’t click.

“A positive would be that we have a game on Friday, against Stirling. They’ll be raring to go on that”.

Craig Miller, Jamie Drummond and Rory Jackson all made their Ayrshire Bulls debuts in the contest, and MacArthur was more positive reflecting on their efforts: “It didn’t phase them. The young lads came on and really took it to them.

“I think if you look at the squad as a whole we had a couple of outstanding performances. Tom Jordan really steps up physically. With Tom Williams outside of him, there’s a really good partnership forming.

As Pat mentioned the Bulls will be back out on the field this coming Friday when they travel to Bridgehaugh to face Stirling County. The match kicks off at 19.30.

Try Scorers: Ruairidh Sayce, Tom Jordan, Thomas Williams,

Conversions: Christian Townsend

Penalty: Christian Townsend

Handful of Changes Ahead of Joust with Knights

The Ayrshire Bulls have named their squad ahead of tomorrow’s FOSROC Super6 encounter with the Southern Knights at the Greenyards.

Melrose has been the backdrop of some titanic battles between pink and yellow over the years and both teams will be looking for more of the same in their new forms.

The spine of last week’s squad which triumphed over Boroughmuir remains, with a handful of tweaks completing the line-up.

Ruairidh Sayce makes his first start for the Bulls at loosehead replacing the injured George Thornton. In the backline, Yaree Fantini also drops out, with Gavin Wilson promoted to seven after his two bench appearances.

There’s a singular change in the backline, with Eli Caven swapping his 23 jersey with winger Aaron Tait.

On the bench, Jamie Drummond, Craig Miller and Rory Jackson all come in at 16, 17 and 20, respectively. All three will make their Bulls debut if called upon.

Matt Minogue also returns to the fray, replacing Tom Lanni.

Full squad below:

Bulls bag victory over Bears

This Afternoon the Ayrshire Bulls bagged their first win of the season with a 24-10 victory over the Boroughmuir Bears at a soggy Millbrae.


The win was welcome news to the Ayr faithful, who left disappointed last Sunday when the Bulls narrowly fell to Watsonians on opening weekend.

(Photo – Scottish Rugby//SNS)

Speaking at final whistle, Bulls head coach Pat MacArthur was delighted with his side’s effort: “There was disappointment after week one. We went back and said we would tweak a few things and we did. The boys stuck to it really well… The physicality of the boys was brilliant and that’s where we set our benchmark in the forwards”.


It was Christian Townsend who got the Bulls going early doors. Two penalty kicks from the youngster in harsh conditions gave them a six-point lead before Tom Jordan crossed the line. From a rolling maul, the ball shipped to Robbie Nairn, who pierced through the defence before releasing Jordan into open space and cantering clear.


The Bears managed to get on the board shortly after with a penalty kick, but Townsend stretched the lead back to 13 in a similar fashion a minute later.


The Bulls fortunes got even better before halftime, with Michael Scott powering over to make it 24-3 at the break.


Despite the rain subsiding and the conditions improving in the second half the pace slowed down. The bears enjoyed the bulk of possession and territory but struggled to break down a resilient Bulls defence. In the end they only managed to muster one try, concluding the scoring at 24-10.


With the Bulls set-piece largely responsible for the victory, second row Ed Bloodworth was named FOSROCSuper6 Man of the Match after an impressive performance in the skies at line-out time. The lock also got through a power of work around the paddock.


Next week the Bulls travel to Melrose to face the Southern Knights in their first outing away from Millbrae. The match gets underway at 15.00.

A Handful of New Faces Enter the Fray

The Ayrshire Bulls have named their squad for tomorrow’s FOSROC Super6 clash against Boroughmuir Bears at Millbrae.

The Bulls will look to right wrongs after a narrow defeat to Watsonians last Sunday in their season opener. The Bears enjoyed better fortunes against Heriots, snatching a 15-13 win in dramatic fashion.

Pat MacArthur has listed a handful of changes ahead of the match.

Aaron Tait comes into the starting XV after a bench appearance last week. Elias Caven takes the absent 23 jersey and will make his Ayrshire Bulls debut if used.

Local lad Tom Lanni also features in the bench and is set for his Bulls debut after numerous run-outs with the Club XV pre-Coronavirus.

His bench spot is created by the promotion of Christian Townsend, who starts at ten with Matt Minogue dropping out.

The pack remains unchanged.

Full squad below:

Bulls Fall Short in Season Opener

This afternoon the Ayrshire Bulls started their 2021 FOSROC Super6 campaign with a narrow defeat to Watsonians Rugby. Played out on a glorious day at Millbrae, it provided the enthralling rugby spectacle that was expected of the new tournament.

(George McMillan snaps Aaron Tait on his return to Millbrae)


The lead seldom stayed with one team, juggling back and forth for eighty minutes. The final count fell 21-26 in the visitor’s favour.


Although not what he was after from his first game in charge, Pat MacArthur was still upbeat at the final whistle: “There are parts of the game I’m really happy about. We had a lot of possession and dictated the territory battle. There’s a lot of positives in there.


“We just lacked that last pass, that cutting edge”.


MacArthur also praised the opposition for capitalising on the mistakes of his men: “credit to Watsons. They took their chances well, they didn’t get many. They managed to get a few tries off the back of a few errors”.


It was the first rugby to take place on the Millbrae paddock for over eighteen months, and MacArthur was quick to mention that he wants the squad to perform when in front of their home fans: “It’s disappointing after a year and a half of building to lose, especially on our home pitch. That is a big thing for us – taking pride over our home pitch”.


There’s no time for the Bulls to lick their wounds. On Saturday they’ll get another opportunity to defend their home when Boroughmuir Bears visit. The match kicks off at 15.00.


FOSROC Man of the Match: Lee Millar (Watsonians)



Ayrshire Bulls – Matt Minogue, George Thornton, Robbie Nairn

Watsonians – Harvey Elms, Jamie Forbes



Ayrshire Bulls – Matt Minogue x3

Watsonians – Lee Millar x2



Watsonians – Lee Millar x4


Ayrshire Bulls: 15. Matt Davidson, 14. Robert Beattie, 13. Tom Williams, 12. Tom Jordan, 11. Robbie Nairn, 10. Matthew Minogue, 9. Jordan Lenac; 1. George Thornton, 2. Rhodri Tanner, 3. Michael Scott, 4. Tom Everard, 5. Edward Bloodworth, 6. Ryan Sweeney, 7. Yaree Fantini, 8. Blair MacPherson (captain)

Replacements: 16. Alex McGuire, 17. Ruairidh Sayce, 18. Calvin Henderson, 19. Ewan Bulger, 20. Gavin Wilson, 21. Harry Warr, 22. Christian Townsend, 23. Aaron Tait


Watsonians Rugby: 15. Jamie Forbes, 14. Lomond Macpherson, 13. Lewis Berg, 12. Dominic Coetzer, 11. Harvey Elms, 10. Lee Millar (captain), 9. Reiss Cullen; 1. Harrison Courtney, 2. Cal Davies, 3. Angus Williams, 4. Kwagga Van Niekerk, 5. Michael Badenhorst, 6. Karl Main, 7, Harry Fisher, 8, Sam Daly.

Replacements: 16. Ross Graham, 17. Matias Sonzogni Argiro, 18. Steven Longwell, 19. Kieran Watt, 20. Luis Ball, 21. Campbell Wilson, 22. Murray Scott, 23. Scott King.

MacArthur Names his Squad for TV Clash

The Ayrshire Bulls have named their squad for Sunday’s FOSROC Super6 clash against Watsonians Rugby – the first action at Millbrae in over 16 months.


The match kicks off at 13.30 and will be broadcast live on FreeSports (Sky channel 442).

Due to correct Covid-19 (Coronavirus) restrictions attendance is only available for members and sponsors. The club hopes to open the gates to more people as and when it becomes possible.

Full squad below:

Four Ayrshire Bulls Named in Scotland U20s

Scotland U20 Head Coach Sean Lineen has included four Ayrshire Bulls players in his 32-man squad for the forthcoming 2021 Under-20 Six Nations.

Rory Jackson, who was named in the Bulls squad for their inaugural season, is listed alongside new recruits Jamie Drummond, Christian Townsend and Finlay Callaghan.

(Image: Scottish Rugby – Rory Jackson smiling in U20s camp.


Lineen’s squad will travel to Cardiff later this month to take part in the age-grade championship which will run from Saturday 19 June – Tuesday 13 July, with all games being held in one venue at Cardiff Arms Park.

Within the 32-man squad there is a split of 18 forwards and 14 backs with 21 of the 32 players supported by the FOSROC Scottish Rugby Academy.

Of those 21, 13 are contracted Academy players who train with full-time professionals at either Edinburgh Rugby or Glasgow Warriors, with more than half the squad set to take part in the 2021 FOSROC Super6 season later this year.

The matchday squads will consist of 26 players due to the condensed format of the competition and all five matchdays will feature three tournament matches played consecutively.

Glasgow Warriors second-row Alex Samuel is named as Scotland Captain.

(Fellow Bulls Recruits Jamie Drummond and Christian Townsend)

Scotland will play the opening fixture of the championship against Ireland, on Saturday 19 June (kick-off 2pm) followed by games against England on Friday 25 June (kick-off 2pm), Italy on Thursday 1 July (kick-off 2pm) and France on Wednesday 7 July (kick-off 5pm).

Scotland will then conclude their tournament when they play the hosts, Wales, in the closing fixture of the championship on Tuesday 13 July (kick-off 8pm).

Every match will be broadcast in each of the Six Nations territories either on terrestrial TV, national broadcaster streaming platforms or via Six Nations digital channels.

Scotland U20 Head Coach Sean Lineen said: “Over the last few months we have been preparing well for this tournament with a number of camps and sessions focusing on player development both on and off the pitch.

“Last month we had two training games against our English counterparts which were positive, they were useful exercises in game management and seeing how different combinations of players worked together.

“With just over two weeks until the opening fixture against Ireland the squad will assemble for one further training camp before we travel down to Cardiff.

“This squad have worked tirelessly over the last few months, there were some tough selection calls to make but we know that this group of players are set to play an exciting brand of rugby.”

Scotland squad for U20 Six Nations

Jamie Drummond* (Ayrshire Bulls)
Patrick Harrison* (Southern Knights/Edinburgh Rugby)
Duncan Hood* (Heriot’s Blues)
Tom Banatvala  (Durham University)
Michael Jones* (Boroughmuir Bears)
Corey Bowker (Leeds Beckett University)
George Breese* (Stirling Wolves)
Olly Frostick (Ealing Trailfinders)
Cole Lamberton* (Watsonians Rugby/Edinburgh Rugby)
Alex Samuel* (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors) CAPATIN
Max Williamson* (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors)
Euan Ferrie (Glasgow Hawks)
Harri Morris (Southern Knights)
Rhys Tait (Southern Knights)
Ollie Leatherbarrow (Exeter University)
Rory Jackson* (Ayrshire Bulls/Glasgow Warriors)
Ben Muncaster* (Watsonians Rugby/Edinburgh Rugby)
Archie Smeaton (Cambridge University)

Ethan McVicker (Melrose Rugby)
Murray Redpath (Newcastle University)
Cameron Scott* (Southern Knights/Edinburgh Rugby)
Euan Cunningham* (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors)
Christian Townsend* (Ayrshire Bulls)
Thomas Glendinning* (Glasgow Hawks)
Scott King* (Heriot’s Rugby/Edinburgh Rugby)
Michael Gray*  (Boroughmuir Bears/Glasgow Warriors)
Elliot Gourlay (Sale Sharks)
Finlay Callaghan* (Ayrshire Bulls/Glasgow Warriors)
Adam Scott * (GHA)
Ollie Melville* (Boroughmuir Bears/Glasgow Warriors)
Harry Paterson* (Heriot’s Rugby/Edinburgh Rugby)
Ross McKnight* (Stirling County)

*FOSROC Academy Supported Player.
Listed clubs are for the 2021 season.

2020/21 Fixtures Confirmed

Over the past week, Scottish Rugby has announced fixtures for the 2020/21 season for all of the senior sides at Ayr Rugby.

(Image - George McMillan)


The Ayrshire Bulls will compete in the FOSROC Super6 Sprint Series, set to start at the end of October. The Club XV, Ayr/Millbrae and Ayr Ladies will all enter regional competitions.


At this time a decision hasn’t been made on whether fans can attend these matches, but as and when information becomes available an update will be made.


Click on the respective team below to see full lists of fixtures:

Millbrae Bar Closed until Return of Rugby

Following recent changes in government guidance and the on-going monitoring of the club’s beer garden attendances in recent weeks, Ayr Rugby has decided to close the bar on Friday’s and Saturday’s until Rugby is back underway at Millbrae.

The decision has not been taken lightly and the club hopes to welcome you back in open arms soon. Tighter restrictions on group bookings as well as projected poor weather forecasts have played a role in decision making.


On a more positive note, the return of rugby is closing in! All of Ayr’s senior squads have returned to training and Scottish Rugby last week expressed a hope to have competitive fixtures by the end of October. Keep an eye on all of the Ayr Rugby channels for more information.


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