Gregor Henry named Club XV Captain

Club 1st XV Head Coach Stuart Fenwick has named Gregor Henry his captain for the 2019/20 season. He has also confirmed three pre-season ties in August for both the 1st XV and 2XV.

Henry is a product of the Ayr RFC youth system and captained his U18s side a few years ago. Since then the back row has seamlessly transferred into senior rugby and has enjoyed two league titles and one Scottish Cup with Ayr 1st XV.


Speaking of his new captain, Fenwick said: "Gregor's tireless work rate is fantastic. He is a leader both on and off the field and someone the full squad and coaching staff have a lot of respect for.


"To have someone of his stature and ability leading the Club XV next season speaks volumes of the ambition this group have".


Stuart Fenwick's first action at the helm of Ayr RFC will come in August with three friendlies, all of which are away from home.


10/08/19 - Ardrossan Accies 1s & 2s vs Ayr RFC 1s & 2s. K/O time TBC.

17/08/19 - Newton Stewart 1s & 2s vs Ayr RFC 1s & 2s. K/O time TBC.

24/08/19 - Banbridge 1s & 2s vs Ayr RFC 1s & 2s. K/O time 14.30.

Gregor celebrating his 2017 BT Premiership triumph with Director of Rugby Jim Lymburn. Photo by George McMillan.

Scottish Cup Final - Ayr 27-25 Heriots

‘Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat’, ‘last-gasp winner’, ‘staring down the barrel’… pick a cliché to describe the Scottish Cup Final and there is a large chance the shoe will fit. A script too ridiculous to be fiction - it could only have been true.

Yesterday Ayr sealed their second ever league and cup double in gut-churning, sickening, empathic fashion. From looking down and out late in the game Ayr managed to conjure two tries before an injury-time Frazier Climo penalty from row A sealed cup glory.


Hot off the historic win, Head Coach Peter Murchie praised the efforts of his men: “We found a way to win. All of the momentum was against us in that second half, we lost the ref in the scrum, our line-out was poor, but we found a way to get back into it”.


Speaking of the season as a whole, and how players have taken their chances, Peter said: “It has been a real story of guys stepping up.


“Your Ruairidh Sayce’s, your Harry Warr’s – Just stepping up and fitting in and now being some of our top performers.


“It’s an amazing achievement and I am really proud of all the guys throughout the year. It is an amazing way to finish with what is happening next year [Super 6]”.


Ayr got the ball rolling after four minutes when Kyle Rowe darted over out wide. An audacious leap into touch looked sketchy but after a second review it was clear Rowe managed to acrobatically ground the ball with one hand before being bundled out by the attempted tackler.


A Heriots penalty shortly after narrowed the gap before Robbie Smith bullied his way to the line for Ayr’s second.


As the break creeped ever closer Heriots managed to muster up two scores of their own to take the lead.


Half-Time: Ayr RFC 12-15 Heriots.


For much of the second half Ayr couldn’t keep hold of possession. Heriots had the better of them at set-pieces and were making good inroads with their tails up. Pressure was turned to points when Ross Jones stretched the lead from the kicking tee, before Jack Blain finished strongly out wide to bring the scoring to 12-25 after 52 minutes.


In the hunt for revival, Ayr turned to their bench. The inclusion of Robbie Nairn, Alfie North and Alex McGuire produced immediate go-forward and with the game now in its’ later stages Ayr began to march.


With 15 minutes left a half break from Nairn proved enough to unleash the supporting Climo. A dive under the posts was followed by a routine conversion to make it a one score game.


Ten minutes later they crossed again. Ayr’s talisman Grant Anderson broke quickly from the ruck to the find Stafford McDowall on his outside. McDowall weaved in and out to bamboozle the last defender and score in the corner.


A wide conversion to take the lead fell short for Climo and the sea of pink in the west stand which had bellowed for 75 minutes went hush. Had Ayr’s chance came and gone?


The stakes couldn’t have been higher. Heriots were in possession at Ayr’s 22 with ten seconds on the clock before the palms of Blair Macpherson took hold of the ball and forced a penalty.


Although now in possession, the clock had turned red and Ayr were the wrong side of a 60-metre charge.


Climo found touch and Alex McGuire found his man at the line-out.


A freight train of a rolling maul set its’ sights on glory and pushed down the field. All looked lost when Heriots ushered it to touch but the refs hand shot up for an infringement.
Poetically from the same spot as Climo’s earlier miss, Ayr’s dreams of a double came down to one last roll of the dice - cue the coolest man in the stadium.


As Climo stood over the ball and took aim at the posts a silence subdued the stadium. All of a sudden, the squawks of crows seemed louder, coughs heavier and the scattering of “shhhssss” deafening.


The kick split the uprights without hesitation, igniting roars and, irresponsibly, a minor pitch invasion. Ayr were now double champions in Peter Murchie’s first year at the helm.


Club captain Peter McCallum hoisted the cup in front of Ayr’s faithful fans to call time on an incredible season.

ARFC 2019 Award Winners

Ayr RFC celebrated a historic season on Friday night at Ayr Racecourse with the 2019 Annual Awards Dinner.

A trailblazing year for the 1XV started with an eight game winning streak to open the Tennent's Premiership - the best start in the club's history. The silverware started soon after when they become the first club to etch their name on the Bill Mclaren shield a second time.


Head coach Peter Murchie, in his first year at the club, left no leeway when it came to expectations and in pre-season set the goal of winning it all. When the business end of proceedings came around it was a double header against Heriots that stood in his way. Two successful afternoons, one at Millbrae and the other BT Murrayfield, resulted in both league and cup success and Ayr's second ever double.


The ladies also enjoyed a successful campaign, winning the Women's National 1 league and being promoted to the new-and-improved Premiership. A solid Sarah Beaney Cup campaign took them to the semi-finals stage.


The Ayr/Wellington U18s also bagged silverware in the West Cup, but fell agonisingly short of the National Youth Cup title, losing in injury time to Boroughmuir.


The Princess Suite provided the perfect setting to celebrate all of the clubs achievements, where individuals were awarded an array of trophies for their commitments to their respective teams.


Club captain Peter McCallum also took the opportunity to say thank you and good bye to some of this years' leavers, with Josh Currie and Bill Murrie closing a chapter on Millbrae RFC, however the book still remains open.


Many thanks to Peter Laverie for expertly hosting proceedings.


Full list of winners:



Player of the Year - Frazier Climo. Players' Player of the Year - Frazier Climo. Breakthrough Player of the Year - Harry Warr and Ruaridh Sayce. Young Player of the Year - Kyle Rowe. Leavers - Robbie Smith (Bedford Blues) & Tommy Spinks (Glasgow Accies)



Player of the Year - Erin McSorley. Players' Player of the Year - Catherine Shennan. Breakthrough Player of the Year - Helen Thomson. Young Player of the Year - Danni Hands



Player of the Year - Euan Hamilton. Players' Player of the Year - Camie Black. Breakthrough Player of the Year - James Pinkerton. Young Player of the Year - Craig Miller


U18 Boys

Player of the Year - Conrad Lynch. Players' Player of the Year & Top Try Scorer- Dylan Wilson. Breakthrough Player of the Year - Euan Bulloch. Club Man of the Year - Jason McGuinness


U18 Girls

Player of the Year - Cieron Bell. Players' Player of the Year - Sophie Kerr



Players' Player of the Year - Connor Wilson. Player's of the Year - Lewis Doak and Adam McGowan. Breakthrough Player of the Year - Ben Lewis

ARFC Partnership with UWS

On Friday morning Ayr Rugby and the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) signed a unique partnership which was backed by some of the biggest name's in the sport.

With the "Long Lunch" event at Ayr Racecourse a fitting backdrop, former British and Irish Captain's Gavin Hastings and Brain O'Driscoll were alongside former Scotland Captain Andy Nicol in supporting the partnership.


As part of the partnership, four UWS students will benefit from newly created undergraduate internships giving them the opportunity to work closely with Ayr Rugby across a number of areas including strength and conditioning, performance analysis and marketing and promotion. These unique internships will form part of the students’ degree programmes at UWS and will allow them to gain experience at all levels within a competitive club, as well as supporting Ayr Rugby in key areas.


The club is also keen to develop learning modules with UWS for youth rugby, adult rugby and Super 6 players across a variety of areas including mental health, adopting a growth mind-set and social media training, as well as more classic sporting topics such as nutrition and strength and conditioning.


Ayr Rugby will also benefit from access to UWS’ cutting-edge facilities including its Biomechanics Lab and high-spec Environmental Chamber at its Lanarkshire Campus. Added to this, the club will tap into research and expertise from UWS academics in the fields of Sport Coaching & Development and Sport & Exercise Science.


Accompanying the three former Lions to launch the collaboration were UWS Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Craig Mahoney, Ayr Rugby Club President Billy McHarg and Paul Davidson, Chairman of Ayr Community Rugby Trust. Joining them were two of the four UWS students who will benefit from the newly created internships, third year Sport & Exercise Science students Keira Lindsay and Mairead Slevin.


Professor Craig Mahoney expressed his delight on the partnership with: “We are delighted to be able to announce our partnership with Ayr Rugby. This is an excellent fit for us as sport plays a key role at UWS and is proven to be extremely beneficial to the physical and psychological health and wellbeing of students. To be able to work closely with one of Scotland’s top rugby clubs is truly exciting.


“The expertise of our academics, combined with access to our fantastic facilities, will ensure Ayr Rugby coaches and players are able to further maximise their already stellar coaching, training and development. Whilst the newly created internships will give selected students the chance to make a real and tangible difference to a highly successful rugby club.”


Scottish Rugby’s Sean Lineen, who is leading the on-field delivery of Super 6 said: “This is a significant new strategic partnership which will benefit both Ayr and UWS through shared knowledge and opportunities. One of the ambitions of Super 6 is to encourage the clubs involved to develop mutual partnerships with tertiary education and this agreement between Ayr and UWS is a great example of how this new initiative can open doors and generate a range of business opportunities.”


President Billy McHarg is also excited about what the future holds: "This is a real honour for Ayr Rugby to be working in partnership with UWS. As Super 6 is a new and exciting competition with the aim of improving playing, coaching and refereeing standards, we see UWS as a perfect partner to work with, so we can learn, improve and take the whole club and surrounding areas to the next level.


"With UWS being located in the centre of town, there is a real opportunity for Ayr Rugby and the Trust to build on our community work and improve the way we contribute towards health, education and employment through rugby for the whole community".

Fenwick Headlines 1XV Coaching Staff

Ayr RFC are delighted to announce that Stuart Fenwick, Head of Youth and Women's Rugby and current U18s coach, will be taking the reins of Ayr's 1XV next season.

Fenwick, who bagged two league titles and two Scottish Cups during his playing days for Ayr, will be supported by Stephen Adair and Robbie Fergusson. Fergusson, was is currently Scotland 7s co-captain, is a product of Ayr's youth system and has formerly linked with Fenwick through the Ladies squad.


Adair returns to the club after retiring from Rugby with neighbours Marr. Before then the Hooker had a successful time at Ayr, playing his part in the historic year's of 2008 and 2013.


Speaking of the appointments, Fenwick said: "I am over the moon to be supported with two great men who can pass on their experience and knowledge to the boys coming through. Robbie is obviously still a professional rugby player and to have him on board is a real advantage. I've known Stephen for years and it's great to see him back at Millbrae.


"It is a huge honour to take up this role with Pete (Murchie) heading up the Super6. I coached a lot of the boys who will feature for the 1XV at U18s so it is great to already have those relationships established".


Andrew Duncan was announced Women's head coach at the turn of the year, and the U18s will be taken on by Bryan Crossan and Colin Duck.

Land O'Burns '19 Edition a Success

It was another action-packed weekend at Millbrae for the 2019 Land O'Burns Weekender which saw Ayr and Stirling County bag top prizes. The annual event fuses together live music, food stalls and Champions league football all around 280 tonnes of sand sculpted into a man-made beach for rugby.

With the Friday night plagued by downpours it looked like it might have been a failure to launch for the event, but a little rain didn't stop the crowds from flocking to the Hawaiian-themed opening party. A 'trade touch' tournament pitted some of Ayr's local businesses against each other to open the weekender. Companies such as Trump Turnberry, Donnini Apartments, Ayrshire Police and JJL all aimed for glory but it was the Ayr Community Rugby Trust that triumphed, led by captain Jack Rennie.


The sun arrived on Saturday just in time for the youth tournament. Stirling County ladies showed their mettle to win the first trophy of the day, followed by Ayr/Wellington in the U14 boys. The main tournament showcased clubs from across the country clash for the Land O'Burns trophy. In the women's category Stirling County managed to edge out Ayr, before the home side redeemed themselves with victory in the mens, toppling reigning champions Newton Stewart.


There was options available on the Saturday night with the Champions League final on in the club and live music in the marquee. At eleven DJ Stefan Janik kicked off the afterparty mixing tracks into the early hours of the night.


The event gains more exposure every year becoming an unmissable attraction on the Ayr social circuit.