Established in 2017, Women's rugby has started to flourish into growing numbers.

Ealasaid Nicleoid first started a Facebook group gauging interest and after good interest was shown and with the help of Leanne Maclean as she knew the club through her husband, with coaching assistance of Iain Mcfee they held their first training session in April 2017. From there they steadily built up a core group of keen players began training in August 2017 with a view to playing some friendly matches against other North teams in development. They played, and won, their first match against away to Huntly Ladies on 14th April 2018 with a return fixture in Stornoway on 12th May. With the help and support from Scottish Rugby the Ladies team created regular fixtures with Huntly Ladies and Craig Dunain Ladies, the growing rivalries helping the development of all players. They ended the year being awarded the Lewis & Harris Sports Council Team of the Year in recognition of their efforts.


The development and growth of the ladies team resulted in a television and radio programme publicising their exploits on and off the pitch this season. Mac TV series ‘Thar an Lodhne’ /Crossing the Line (BBC Alba), highlighting women’s rugby at grassroots level in rural areas, followed the ladies squad through the season. This was a great opportunity to raise the profile of the game for women locally and generated a large amount of positive feedback for the club. Radio Nan Gaidheal also followed the squad’s journey resulting in a 2 part radio show called ‘Gillebríde ‘s a Chlann-nighean’ / Womens Rugby telling the team’s story from first training session in 2017 to present day. On the rugby front the ladies got stuck in to a punishing summer of preseason training before kicking off the season on home soil marking their league debut with a historic home win. A very positive season followed, with the group learning and taking things from each and every game played. The Sarah Beany Bowl Competition got off to a flying start in February 2020 with a convincing home win vs Ardrossan Ladies. They then travelled to Bishopton where they won away from home. Despite not making it to the hallowed Murrayfield for the quarter final stages the ladies team are quite rightly very proud of their achievements in their first competitive season. They have gone on to compete in the Sarah Beaney Cup and were due to play in the newly formed women’s league structure in season 2019-20 before the Covid-19 pandemic put everything on hold. 


Anyone interested in joining please contact the Ladies Facebook page here.


Here is a potted history of Stornoway Mens RFC the full story can be found here.

  • Club formed in September 1952 by Scottish internationalist Bob Bruce(3 caps) and

  • Stornoway Engineer John Morrison

  • First game November 1st 1952 against Royal Navy; "HMS Cook" (SYRFC won 16-0)

  • 1950s – games versus visiting Navy ships

  • 1960’s – Opportunities to play diminish

  • 1972 – Nicolson Institute promotes rugby within the school and forms links with the club

  • 1974 – New pitch established at airfield in Steinish

  • 1975 – Western Isles Council established bringing new blood (and players) to the island

  • 1978/79 Nicolson Institute win North of Scotland Schools Championship

  • 1982 – Steinish pitch lost due to runway extension

  • 1984 – New pitch built by council at Bayhead

  • 1989/90 – SYRFC win Brin Cup

  • 1995/96 – SYRFC join Highland District League

  • 1995/96 – SYRFC win Highland District League (unbeaten)

  • 1996/97 – SYRFC win Brin Cup (beating Orkney)

  • 2000/01 – SYRFC win Highland District League Cup in its inaugural year

  • 2002 – 50th Anniversary tour to the Bahamas

  • 2002/03 – SYRFC move up to North District League

  • 2002/03 – first game in BT Cellnet Scottish Cup v Helensburgh


With the demise of junior rugby following the teachers strikes in the early ‘80s opportunities for young players became very limited. Some senior players supported teams through the years and U14 teams went on occasional trips away to play, including mini tours to Edinburgh and Italy. But it wasn’t until the late 1990’s that a concerted effort was made to develop junior rugby and a new generation of rugby players began to emerge. After school sessions at the Nicolson were well attended and covered U14, U16 & U18 age groups, but fixtures were hard to come by.

Despite this there were some successes along the way, there now follows a potted history of junior rugby development at the club:

  • 2007/08 – Caledonia Cup run for u16s (wins against Dundee and Banff) losing in final to Aberdeen Grammar

  • 2008 – Four u16s play for Highlands & Islands team (part of the SRU pathway)

  • 2009 – SYRFC u18 player Sean Steven competes at Scotland u18 level

  • 2010 - Callum “Shen” Campbell begins delivering after school sessions to P5-7 pupils at Laxdale Primary

  • 2011 – Partnership between SYRFC/SRU/CNES for Nicolson Institute to become a School of Rugby

  • 2012 - First primary touch rugby festival held introducing rugby to over 100 primary school pupils.

  • 2015 - David “GG” Campbell recruited on the SRU Modern Apprentice Programme. Focussing on delivering coaching sessions to primary and secondary pupils throughout Lewis & Harris.

  • 2017 – First ever Stornoway P6/7 team plays its first game against GHA at Bayhead.

  • 2018 - 12 coaches went through a UKCC Level 2 Course with the support of SRU Development Team

  • 2019/20 - The club is now providing coaching for up to 100 juniors from P5-S6 at 3 sessions per week.

It is testament to the club's commitment over the years that they celebrated its past in the full knowledge that a bright new future lies within their grasp. One can only assume that it is something the late Bob Bruce and John Morrison would have welcomed with open arms.

If you are interested in joining our junior training please get in touch.