125 Years of Rugby
Season 2005/2006 marked the club’s 125th anniversary and what more fitting celebration could there be than winning promotion to Premier One after eleven years in the lower leagues. With only one promotion spot available, Dundee made history being promoted to the top flight as champions for the first time. To underline the continuing revival at Mayfield, the 2nd XV continued their renaissance to win promotion as undefeated champions from their league.
There were also invites to the Border Sevens’ circuit for the first time in several years with the club acquitting themselves well at Gala, Hawick and Jed-Forest.
The season was brought to a close with a celebration of Dundee rugby past and present at the 125th Dinner which was attended by many of Dundee’s rugby greats including Andy Nicol, David Leslie, Chris Rea.
Back in the top division in season 2006/2007, the 1st XV made history again, this time by ensuring their Premier 1 survival in a highly competitive league. Two seasons in the top flight inspired the players to performances that led to invites to the Melrose Sevens which Dundee had last contested in 1993.
That first season in Premier 1 ended with Dundee welcoming back former All Black Graham Mourie, who had captained the New Zealanders against the North and Midlands in 1979 at Mayfield, in his capacity as IRB representative as Dundee played Watsonians under the IRB experimental law variations that were being trialled in Scotland that year.
Head Coach Ian Rankin steered the Scottish Club International team to a hard fought victory against Ireland at Meggetland in 2007 with Dundee centre Graham Thomson playing in that game. Ranks remained in charge in 2008 and led Scotland to a win against Wales in Caerphilly and a narrow loss to Ireland at Donnybrook. Graham Thomson played both games and was joined by George Oommen.
There was international age group recognition for Cammy Ferguson, Alan Dymock and Danny Levison at Under-19 level while Andy Dymock was capped for the Under-18s. Andy played for Scotland Under-19 in 2008 and Steve Wilson was capped for Scotland Under-20. Andy also featured in the Scotland 7s team that competed on IRB World Sevens tour as did former pupil Richie Vernon who returned to the club as an allocated pro from Glasgow.
The 2nd XV (below) extended their winning streak to an amazing 50 games gaining promotion back into the 1st Division of the 2nd XV leagues in the process while the club re-introduced a 3rd XV.
Relegation then promotion, once again as champions of Premier 2, meant Dundee High were back in Premier 1 for season 2009/2010. A 4th place finish represented the club’s best ever standing in the leagues but this was eclipsed by a 2nd place finish in season 2011/2012 to earn a British and Irish Cup place for season 2012/2013. Club International caps for Alan Brown, James Fleming, Cammy Ferguson, Harry Duthie, Neil Dymock, Richie Hawkins; near misses for Andy Dymock, Andy McLean, Danny Levison and Aubrey Horton; and Richie McIver named as Scottish Rugby’s RBS Premier 1 player of the season (2011/2012) was a fair reflection the club’s league form. James Fleming was signed By Edinburgh and offered a Scotland Sevens Contract in 2011 and went on to be Scotland’s top try scorer in the 2010/2011 IRB World Sevens series.
As in the past, future successes will be in no small part due to the support received from Dundee High School, including players, coaches, playing and training facilities and ground staff. The club expresses their gratitude for all the support the school has provided for over 125 years.
Finally, every successful club relies on its members and supporters who cheer the lads on Saturdays and sponsor the club in a variety of ways. To everyone who is and has been involved with Dundee High School Former Pupils’ Rugby Football Club, thankyou and long may your support continue.