About McPherson's Rant


McPherson’s Rant is an old Scots Folk Song about a Robin Hood Type Character who was hanged.

There is no connection, unless you count the “rant” part.  The world’s a strange place and sometimes a “rant” at absurdity and unfairness is just what’s required.

Here you can expect to find examples of stupidity, irony and idiocy , especially relating to Hong Kong, and with particular attention to the SCMP, and its’ letters page. A common problem with many blogs is their failure to find something new to say, I find the SCMP, and it’s letters page, provides plenty of ammunition on a daily basis and will reference them frequently. If you have your own letter not getting published, put it on our comments section.





Hong Kong Scottish RFC

“The noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees, is the high road that leads him to England!” So said Dr. Samuel Johnson, that renowned Scotophobe.  Johnson, being rather parochial, chose to ignore his own Scottish father’s journey down that road, but it’s a road well traveled for generations of Scots, generations who made an astounding impact in London, and all over the British Empire, the Colonies, Australia, New Zealand… and of course Hong Kong.

The mass of émigré’s took with them many aspects of their culture, witness the curious popularity of the Great Highland bagpipe all over the world, but they also took with them their passion for sports, notably Football and Rugby.  To this day there are teams playing worldwide who pay homage to their Scottish ancestors, from Durban to Dubai.  Most notable is London Scottish, a team who has provided Scotland with over 220 Scottish Internationals as well as four British Lions Captains.

In Hong Kong, from the beginning of next season, there will be a rugby team playing in Division One called “Hong Kong Scottish.“ An independent entity, but one with the blessing, backing and support of their London Brethren.

London Scottish have been very supportive of the idea from the outset, and Hong Kong Scottish will proudly wear the London Scottish badge and share their colours as a mark of their new relationship.

As Tony Copsey, London Scottish Director of Rugby says: “London Scottish are delighted to be able to support Hong Kong Scottish, and we’re looking forward to discussions about how we can work together going forward. “

Behind this adventure are the HKRFU, the Nomads Rugby Club and a group of Scottish expats in Hong Kong.  Chief among them is Stewart Saunders, ex COO of China Light and Power, and Roy Kinnear, an ex-banker who is leading the drive for funds. The original idea for the team came from Dave Whiteford, formerly of Melrose RFC and now playing his rugby in Hong Kong, and the marketing and fundraising is headed by Jacqui Donaldson, Managing Director of Communique, a PR firm.

As part of the initiative to launch Hong Kong Scottish, a trip to the Melrose Sevens was chosen as the ideal ‘coming out’ for the new club.  Both Hong Kong and Melrose are closely associated with Sevens, with Hong Kong being at the forefront of the global expansion of the game that was created by the famous Borders club.

This Hong Kong Scottish team for Melrose  included players of Scottish Heritage such as ex Scotland international sevens player, David Tait, as well as former Glasgow Hawks Centre Ally Maclay and Melrose old boy Dave Whiteford. and also some local Chinese Development players.   Their coach, Joe Shaw, formerly of England’s Sevens world cup winning squad, claims a tenuous link to Scotland saying: “Newcastle, where I spent most of my career, is only English because they put the border in the wrong place.”  The team acquitted themselves well and have been invited back next year.

There are long standing links between Hong Kong and Scottish rugby – in the current Scotland squad both Graeme Morrison and John Barclay were born in Hong Kong and Jim Hamilton has a Hong Kong grandmother.  There are two ex-Scotland internationals working for the HKRFU, Sam Pinder and Andy Hall. There is also a very large and active Scottish expat community here, The Highlanders Society, The Scottish Business Group and The St Andrews Society who organize annually their Burns Supper, Christmas Ball and a local Calcutta Cup rugby match against the Auld Enemy, the St Georges Society!

With such a pedigree, both historically and currently, Hong Kong Scottish seems to be an idea whose time is long overdue and should offer a great addition to the local rugby community and act much the same way as London Scottish does in England.

Gavin Hastings, ex-Scotland Captain, has also added his weight to the project, and will be a key figure in the club going forward.  Hastings’s had this to say: “I’m excited to be involved with the Hong Kong Scottish project – over the past few years Hong Kong has become like a second home for me, and I love the idea of being able to show my support for the local rugby community here.”






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