Glasgow Hutchesons Aloysians RFC
|Full name||Glasgow Hutchesons' Aloysians Rugby Football Club|
|Union||Scottish Rugby Union|
|Founded||1923 (as Hutchesons' Grammar School F.P.R.F.C.)|
|Coach(es)||Gordon MacPherson Stuart Lang|
|League(s)||RBS National League|
Glasgow Hutchesons' Aloysians Rugby Football Club, colloquially referred to as G-HA!! (pronounced /ˈdʒiːhɑː/), is a Scottish rugby union club based in the Giffnock area of Glasgow, which currently plays in RBS National League. The club plays its home matches at Braidholm.
The club was established by the 2002 merger between Glasgow Southern RFC and Hutchesons' - Aloysians' RFC. The former club was originally known as Clarkston but was renamed in 1995 with the ambition of creating the premier side on the South Side of Glasgow. The latter club was also formed as the result of an earlier merger between the former pupils (FPs) clubs of Hutchesons' Grammar School and St Aloysius' College. The merged club is now firmly established as the premier club on the South Side of Glasgow.
Hutchesons’ Grammar School F. P. R. F. C.
The Club was formed in 1923 playing out of Auldhouse, the school’s sports ground in Thornliebank. Admitted as a full member of the Scottish Rugby Union in 1937, the Hutchesons’ Club entered the National League system in Season 1973 at 2nd Division level, having dispensed with tradition to some degree by opting for “Open” status two years previously, a significant decision forced, by necessity, on many Scottish F.P. Clubs at that time.
1990 was to see further constitutional change when the club agreed amalgamation with close friends and one time rivals to form Hutchesons' Aloysians R.F.C.
Old Aloysians R.F.C.
By contrast, the Old Aloysians’ club was formed in 1955 for the sole purpose of undertaking a challenge match against the extremely successful Saint Aloysius’ College 1st XV. The unexpected success of this venture resulted in a decision to seek regular fixtures which led to a continuing upsurge in interest and the inevitable and rapid expansion of the F.P. Club. The first fixture was against Hutchesons’ Grammar F. P. R. F. C., coincident with the invitation from Hutchesons’ Grammar School to Saint Aloysius’ College 1st XV to undertake regular fixtures. This long standing friendship led to the amalgamation in season 1990-91.
Hutchesons’ Aloysians R.F.C.
Richard Allan was selected as the Club’s first full internationalist for the Irish fixture at Murrayfield in 1969 to be followed by other distinguished players who gained representative honours. Brothers Gordon and Alan Bulloch were to gain National Caps, with the former captaining the National side on several occasions. Ray Nelson was to achieve caps for the United States National Team the U.S. Eagles.
Unlike the two Former Pupil Clubs now involved at Braidholm, Clarkston R .F.C., since its formation in 1937, has always been an “Open” club, created by a variety of former pupil rugby players who did not wish to undertake cross city travel to indulge in their sport. Significantly the first club chairman was a Glasgow Academical, the first President a Glasgow High Former Pupil and the longest serving Club Captain and Coach, Andrew Williams a product of Allan Glen’s.
Playing initially at the local authority’s Overlee ground, years of tireless fund raising saw the Club’s new facility at Braidholm opened by S.R.U. President Charlie Drummond in January 1971. The Club entered the new National League structure in 1973 at 4th Division level, rising through the years to division two. With three pitches. floodlights, 250 seater stand and expanded Clubhouse, in recognition of its changing character and by a significant membership majority at the May 1995 A.G.M., the Club altered its name to Glasgow Southern R.F.C.
Glasgow Southern R.F.C.
Over several years a variety of players graduated through the Club participation from both youth and senior level to achieve representative status. Full International caps were awarded to Gordon McIlwham, and Euan Murray while others have achieved selection at Youth level.
Agreement reached with a development organisation saw the original 1970 Clubhouse demolished to make way for a health club. A new, state of the art, Clubhouse was formally opened by S.R.U. President Ronnie Young at Braidholm in January 2002. The Glasgow Southern name was only to survive for seven years before it became evident to all concerned that the sport on the south side of Glasgow would be best served through amalgamation, an initiative formalised in May 2002 with the formation of Glasgow Hutchesons’ Aloysians Rugby Football Club.
GHA run 4 senior sides - the 1st XV, the 2nd XV and the 2A XV. There is also a veterans team called the GHA Gazelles.
The amalgamation has been a great success with GHA's 1st XV having spent 3 seasons in Premiership Division One (2003/04, 2004/05, 2007/08) - Scottish rugby's top domestic league. Subsequently, the club spent three seasons playing in Premiership Division Two from 2008 to 2011. Despite challenging in the top half of Premier 2 between 2008 and 2010, GHA were unable to regain promotion to Premier 1. Season 2010/11 was to prove one of the most challenging in the club's history and the loss of several of the club's most experienced players combined with injury to several key players were major factors in the 1st XV being relegated to Scottish Premiership Division Three.
In 2011/12 GHA finished second in the league but were denied promotion due to league reconstruction. For season 2012/13 they were placed in RBS Championship League A and went on to win the league in a historic, winner takes all, final day of the season title decider away to local rivals [Cartha Queens Park] by 23 to nil. This also earned them the one promotion spot, securing GHA's place back amongst the top 20 clubs in Scotland.
GHA's 7s squad won the prestigious NCS Glasgow City 7s in May 2012, defeating the Samurai Scottish (an invitational side containing several Scotland 7s Internationalists) in the final. They also defeated the Glasgow Warriors in their semi final, tournament hosts Cartha QP in the Quarter Final and a 50-14 victory over the 2012 Legacy 7s Series champions Howe of Fife, in the First Round. GHA joined the Glasgow Hawks as one of only 2 amateur teams to win the tournament in the last decade.
Current 1st XV Squad
Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under IRB eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-IRB nationality.
Scotland Club Internationalists
- Andrew Kelly - 2007
- Jon Welsh - 2008
Scotland U20/U21 Age Grade Internationalists
The following players gained either Under 20 or Under 21 Age Grade International honours whilst playing senior rugby at GHA.
Under 21 (Age group was disbanded after 2006 season)
- Euan Murray - 1999, 2000, 2001
- Justin Reid - 2003
- A J MacFarlane - 2005
- John W. Beattie - 2005
- James Eddie - 2005
- Iain Kennedy - 2005, 2006
- Calum Forrester - 2006
Under 20 (Age group replaced Under 21s from 2007 onwards)
- Peter Jericevich - 2008
The following players have made 100 or more appearances for GHA's 1st XV (note that some players also played for the constituent clubs and their appearances for those clubs have been included in their total). These totals are accurate as of the end of season 2010/11.
*Appearances include games played for Glasgow Southern/Clarkston
†Appearances include games played for Hutchesons' Aloysians
GHA has a large junior rugby section consisting of over 250 boys and girls ranging from micros up to Under 18s. The junior section has contributed several players to the senior set up including James Eddie who subsequently signed for Glasgow's professional team, the Glasgow Warriors.
GHA's ongoing ties with Hutchesons' Grammar School and St. Aloysius' College can also be seen from the large number of pupils and former pupils of both schools playing at the club. Links have also been forged with local state schools, particularly Williamwood High School and Mearns Castle High School whose pupils and former pupils are also widely represented throughout the club.
The GHA Rugby Academy
The GHA Rugby Academy was established in 2012 and is aimed at helping talented young players at the club to realise their potential and achieve their rugby ambitions.
The GHA Rugby Academy offers the club's most talented young players an opportunity to experience a professional approach to training and playing rugby. It was set up to produce future 1st XV players for GHA RFC, provide more players for the Glasgow district set up and ultimately get more players into National Age Grade Squads. It was seen as a necessary development and use of the clubs limited resources in order to develop the long term sustainability of the club and support its long term ambitions.
Notable former players
This is a list of former GHA players who had or went on to gain full-time professional contracts within a full-time professional rugby squad and/or achieved senior International, International A or International 7s Honours.
This list does not include players who were allocated to play for GHA in the Scottish Rugby draft whereby players from Scotland's full time professional squads - Glasgow Warriors, Edinburgh Rugby and the now defunct Border Reivers - are annually drafted by Premier One clubs to play for them on weekends when not selected for the professional teams. Although GHA have not played in Premier One under the current draft system, a precursor to the current system was in place that led to several players, including current Scotland Internationals Johnnie Beattie and John Barclay being allocated to play for them.
Post the 2002 amalgamation
- Jon Welsh - Glasgow Warriors, Scotland
- James Eddie - Glasgow Warriors, Scotland A, Scotland 7s
- Calum Forrester - Formerly Glasgow Warriors, Scotland A, Scotland 7s, now with Ayr
- Scott Cowan - Southland, Otago Highlanders
- Peter Jericevich - Scotland 7s
- Rory Hughes - Scotland 7s
- Alan Bulloch - Glasgow Warriors, Scotland
- Gavin Walsh - Northampton Saints, Ireland A
- Joe Naufahu - Glasgow Warriors, Southland, Canterbury
- Andrew Kelly - Glasgow Warriors
- Gareth McClure - Glasgow Warriors, Newcastle Falcons
- Andy Rennick - Border Reivers, Northampton Saints
- Carlo di Ciacca - Glasgow Caledonians (who later became Glasgow Warriors), Edinburgh Rugby
- Andrew Plastow - Queensland Reds, Australia 7s
- Ross West - Queensland Reds
- Sean Kearns - Australian Army
- Sam Pinder* - Glasgow Warriors, Northland, Scotland
Pre the 2002 amalgamation
*Played one game for GHA's 2nd XV before being signed by the Glasgow Warriors
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