Ayr Rugby and Ayr Cricket Club Ready for Battle

This Sunday (6th) Ayr Rugby will swap kicking tee’s for cricket bats when they go toe-to-toe with Ayr Cricket Club on the oval at Cambusdoon. It marks the first-ever meeting of the two neighbours, celebrating the close bond the two have had over the years.

(Andy Pickles front and centre alongside son, Max, who lines up for the Ayr Rugby squad)


Up for grabs, the inaugural ‘Pickles Cup’, named after former Ayr Rugby and Ayr Cricket legend Andy Pickles. The former Club president will be in attendance alongside family to present the trophy to the winning side.


For Ayr Rugby, it’s a stab at a very different sport, but the squad is full of cricket hopefuls ready to upset the odds. The side will be led by Frazier Climo, a man who knows all too well how to find victory in adversity.


The kilted kiwi will be joined by a raft of familiar faces from across the senior squads and staff.


Best of luck to both sides in what promises to be a great afternoon!


The 20/20 match gets underway at 13:00.

Minis Spotlight - Ben Chittock Delighted with Rugby's Return

It has been a few weeks now since Ayr Rugby began their phased return-to-play protocols, and Ayr/Wellington Minis Convenor Ben Chittock has hailed the transition a success thus far.

(Image - Minis Convenor Ben Chittock in attendance at the last Ayrshire Bulls game before lockdown. SNS//SRU)


For all of the minis, it has been the return of their favourite Sunday activity, but it has been a completely new experience in many regards. Track and trace registration, modified games, regular equipment washes and socially distanced coaches are just a handful of new measures introduced to ensure player safety is paramount during delivery. All sessions are monitored and adhere to guidance from both Scottish Rugby and the Scottish Government.


Despite the new challenges Ben Chittock is delighted with how things have gone so far: “The first few weeks have been great. As a club, we have put a lot of work into getting back to rugby and the processes are working really well.


“One of the challenges has been allowing the young players to ‘self-referee’ with many dubious decisions! It has been especially difficult for our P4s who were excited to start tackling this year, hopefully, they won’t have to wait long”.

(Image - Ben with his son, Jack. George McMillan)


Ben was also delighted with how well the youngsters have embraced the new normal: “They have adapted brilliantly. The overwhelming response has been that they are just delighted to be back playing with their friends.


“As coaches, our priority has been on making sure the kids have lots of fun. They missed out on a lot over lockdown and it’s been great to see them laughing and playing with their friends again”.


The Ayr/Wellington youth section continues to grow from strength-to-strength and has weathered adversity with a can-do attitude.


To conclude, Ben had the following message: “Well done to all the mini players on adapting so well. It’s great to be on the road back. If any boys or girls would like to join us, get in touch!”


You can get in touch with the minis section by emailing [email protected].


If you want to support Rugby’s return to Millbrae, please donate below:

McNae Donate Sanitiser to the Club

Ayr Rugby would like to thank McNae’s and Scotwest Oils for donating over 100L of hand sanitiser to the club.

Since reopening Ayr Rugby have ensured the clubhouse is able to operate safely and adhering to government guidelines around Covid-19. This has meant an increase in financial outlay.


The generous donation from McNae’s significantly lowers these costs and is greatly appreciated by all at the club. The sanitiser will benefit all from youth section training, senior squad pre-season and even the wider community who visit the Millbrae Beer Garden.

“Ayr RFC is a valuable hub for everyone in the community,” said Director Neil McNae, who is already a key sponsor of the Ladies Youth Section: “McNae’s and Scotwest Oils are delighted to donate hand sanitiser to help kick-start rugby safely in what is proving to be challenging times”.


From all at Ayr Rugby, thank you to McNae’s for their on-going support.


If you would like to contribute towards the club’s return to normality visit our JustGiving page below:

AGM Postponed

Having taken into consideration current Coronavirus (Covid-19) guidance and protocol Ayr Rugby have decided to postpone the 2020 AGM originally scheduled for this Thursday (13th).


Although frustrated the meeting cannot take place at this current time, the club’s main priority is the safety of its’ staff, members and players.


With the Scottish Government extending phase three of Coronavirus restrictions, the AGM cannot take place in an appropriate open forum whilst maintaining social distancing measures. This would limit attendance and dissuade those who are still shielding and/or uncomfortable with social gatherings.


Similarly, an online AGM would also limit engagement.


The club accounts have been finalised and are ready to be presented to the membership alongside other issues including incorporation to a limited company. These are important discussions that Ayr Rugby are keen to address and therefore stress the importance of this happening in a safe environment.


The rearranged date is still to be decided and will be confirmed when Government and Scottish Rugby directives allow.  We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.

Ayr Rugby Called into Action by Unity Grill

Ayr Rugby and their wider community spent much of the lockdown period supporting local social enterprise Unity Grill.


Some Government-enforced downtime allowed Ayr Rugby staff, players, members and fans to provide vital support in Unity Grill’s mission to challenge food poverty.

(Image - Voluntary Action South Ayrshire)


Over 40 volunteers turned out over the course of lockdown every Friday tallying approximately 350 hours of food delivery to some of South Ayrshire’s most deprived areas.



Describing the work Ayr Rugby put in, Unity Grill founder Angela Iver said: “The club helped with food deliveries for our paying and non-paying customers. The extra support meant we didn’t need to think about coordinating deliveries, the club did all of that. We just had to make sure everything was ready to go and Ayr Rugby did the rest.



“It also allowed us to reach much further than just Ayr. Some weeks deliveries were going as far as Girvan. This, of course, meant we were able to support many more families who needed some extra help”.



Angela insists that it wasn’t just Unity Grill who were thankful for Ayr Rugby’s support: “Club members were able to build up relationships with the recipients who were maybe a little wary at first. There were often reports of lockdown being eased by deliveries from handsome rugby men and ladies!”



Ayr Rugby’s support was recognised by Voluntary Action South Ayrshire who awarded the club £2,000 to aid charitable work in the future.




Many thanks to club member and player Nathan Gilmour who was paramount in organising and managing the arrangement. With lockdown restrictions lifting Unity Grill no longer need the extra support - but they know the pink and black army will be on standby for the future.




Youth and Minis Poised for Return

The Ayr/Wellington youth and minis section have agreed that - all going well - training can recommence the week of August 16th.

The news means all teams from U-18s downwards will begin to meet and train in preparation for the coming season. The club will continue to follow strict guidance from Scottish Rugby as well as Government protocol around managing Coronavirus (Covid-19).


Return to play will be overseen by the club's Chief Operating Officer Glen Tippett, who has been appointed Covid-19 Co-ordinator. Surplus to this, each team has a specific Covid-19 lead who will be in charge of track and tracing, continuous risk assessment of sessions and ensuring a safe and hygienic environment.


At this time senior training is still postponed until further notice. The club will work alongside Scottish Rugby to pursue a suitable date for its return.


The news comes one week after the club opened its doors for the first time since March. Almost 100 people made it to the Millbrae Beer Garden last weekend and we thank them for their generous support.


Gearing up for Rugby's return? Check out our online sale below...


JustGiving Page up and Running!

COVID-19 has taken its toll on many businesses and Ayr Rugby has been no exception. We have had to close all our facilities since March and therefore we have been missing our regular income from the bar and match day entrance fees.

We were also extremely sad to miss out on our summer beach rugby tournament as part of our popular "Land O'Burns Weekender". This is usually one of our biggest fundraiser weekends of the year and we rely on its' success to fund our club's day-to-day expenses and running costs throughout the rest of the year.

We are asking our members, friends, supporters and the wider community to come together and help fund the re-opening of our facilities. On top of the regular summer maintenance of our clubhouse and grounds, we now have additional costs that this pandemic has brought. We are working hard to ensure that Millbrae is safe for everyone to return, whether that is for team training, sessions or a pint in our sunny beer garden. If you would like to see a return to these activities, please donate on this page. This could be anything from the few pounds you would normally have spent on a drink or lunch on a Saturday, to the cost of a new beer garden bench, to buy a mobile hand-sanitiser unit for one of our teams to take to training sessions, to the cost of the paint for the supporters stand.


If you are unable to contribute financially but still want to help, please contact us via email as we are always looking for willing volunteers.


We hope to see you on the pitch/in the beer garden/on the sidelines very soon.


Many thanks on behalf of Ayr Rugby Committee.


Beer Garden Open for Business!

This weekend Ayr Rugby will open their grounds to the public for the first time since shutting shop in March in-line with Covid-19 guidance.


The outside courtyard will provide a safe environment for guests to enjoy beverages from the bar whilst still maintaining social distancing protocol. Cashless payment systems will be in place and there will also be outside portable-toilets and sanitising stations.


Food is available as well as plenty outside space for children to run around safely.


You can reserve your table for up to three hours for a maximum of eight people. Walk-ins will be taken on a first come first served basis and only dependant on availability.


Our opening hours are as follows:

Friday 16.00 - 21.00

Saturday 14.00 - 21.00

Sunday 12.00 - 19.00


To book your table please email [email protected] with your name, your requested time and number of people in your party.


We look forward to welcoming you back to Millbrae.

Grab your Ayr Rugby Face Mask Here!

Your 2019/20 Award Winners

(Photo - Seth Rae was one of the evening's Player of the Year winners. Credit - George McMillan)


This evening Ayr Rugby concluded their end-of-season award presentations with the unveiling of winners from the club's senior sides.


The awards were announced as-live on Twitter with many of the recipients watching along on Zoom calls with teammates and coaches. The awards allowed their coaches to pay homage to some of the outstanding campaigners from their squads.


Ayr Ladies:

Andy Duncan named Robynn Gibson his player of the season after the centre led her side in tries scored through a tough campaign.


Skipper Catherine Shennan swooped up player's player of the year with a majority vote. In what was her first season at the helm of the side she brought great leadership to her role of fly-half.


A newer face to the Millbrae crowd, Louise Downie was named breakthrough player of the year after a terrific first season in pink and black.



Ayr/Millbrae named two award winners and opted to change 'breakthrough player' to the more traditional 'most improved'. Jack Finnie was the man who fit the bill. The hooker kicked on after a few years of senior rugby and earned his Club XV debut in the process.

Ross Gilmour was named player of the year.


Club XV:

IT was a season of new beginnings for much of Ayr RFC and Stuart Fenwick can be proud of his men's efforts in his first year in charge.


An ever-present force in his squad was Seth Rae, who was named player of the year for his tireless effort around the park.


Zac Howard was named player's player of the year in a season that has been his coming of age - from a plucky winger capable of a line break to the team's captain and general.


One of the better stories of their season was the emergence of tighthead prop Ben Cree and his appointment of breakthrough player of the year will come as no surprise to the Millbrae faithful. An unstoppable force with ball-in-hand and an immovable object at scrum time, it's hard to fathom that was his first season of senior rugby.


Ayrshire Bulls:

His name has been in lights since impressing with Scotland U20s and now Ollie Smith earns another accolade - being named player of the year by head coach Peter Murchie. The FOSROC Academy stage three star has been a constant source of go-forward for the Bulls.

Aussie import Sam Kitchen was voted Player's Player of the Year. The bullish hooker epitomises the team's persona and finished the regular season a-top of try-scoring leaderboards.


Young prop Michael Scott was named Breakthrough Player of the Year.


Well done to all of this year's winners and thank you to all who cheered them on from the sidelines. We can't wait to welcome you back to Millbrae in the future. Stay home, stay safe.


Have you voted in this year's Try of the Season Competition? Have your say and support the club in a time of need! Donate below...


Simpson and O'Connor Lead Awards Night with Two A-Piece

(Photo - Ayr U18s fly-half Richie Simpson in action. Simpson and teammate Aiden O'Connor Headline this evening's winners with two each)


This evening Ayr Rugby unveiled the end-of-season award winners for the upper echelons of the youth section, as well as the senior rugby academy.


The awards were announced as-live on Twitter with many of the squads involved watching along on Zoom calls with coaches.


Despite their seasons all coming to a premature end, it has been a historic year for the teams involved. With the introduction of FOSROC Super6 side the Ayrshire Bulls and a reimagined Club XV, the path to senior rugby at Ayr has never been closer. The awards allowed their coaches the opportunity to pay homage to some of the outstanding campaigners in their squads.



U16 Girls

Player of the Year: Bethan Gregory

Breakthrough Player of the Year: Maddison Colville

U16 Boys

Player of the Year: Logan Murray

Player's Player of the Year: Jonothan Turnbull, Blair Niven and Jamie McLaughlan

Breakthrough Player of the Year: Andy Cathcart

U18 Girls

Player of the Year: Holly McIntyre

Breakthrough Player of the Year: Hazel McMillan and Emma Struthers

U18 boys

Player of the Year: Richie Simpson

Player's Player of the Year: Richie Simpson

Breakthrough Player of the Year: Aiden O'Connor

Senior Academy

Player of the Year: Michael Lafferty and Aiden O'Connor

Breakthrough Player of the Year: Ross Bulloch


Well done to this evening's winners and all who turned out in pink and black this season. The Awards will continue tomorrow night in a similar fashion with Ayr Ladies, Ayr/Millbrae, Ayr Club XV and the Ayrshire Bulls.