THE OFFSIDE LINE was set up by David Barnes in 2016 with the aim of providing high quality, independent and up-to-date coverage of all aspects of Scottish rugby. Since then The Offside Line has grown exponentially in terms of reputation and readership.

We provide high quality and in-depth coverage of Scottish rugby at all levels of the game; from grassroots to international and from age-grade to the burgeoning women’s game.

David has been joined this season by heavyweight rugby journalist Stuart Bathgate to make The Offside Line the first port of call for Scottish rugby’s fans, supporters and participants.

We are supported by a dedicated and enthusiastic team of freelance rugby journalists, excellent photographers, business and technical minds, who bring their talents and enthusiasm to our coverage.

Your support

Most BT Premiership clubs understand the importance of good reporting and we would like to thank them, including; Ayr RFC, Boroughmuir, Currie Chieftans, Glasgow Hawks, Heriot’s, Melrose RFC, Stirling County RFC and Watsonians FC. We are also supported by a growing number of rugby loving friends. With your support we can continue growing and giving more coverage of the sport every season.

What we are trying to achieve

As mainstream newspapers continued to decrease their investment and interest in the game, David saw the need and opportunity for a news outlet devoted to serious, in-depth coverage of the game, and The Offside Line was launched. We are continually growing and improving in our offering and are using every innovation to build our readership and extend our coverage.

Finally, we are building The Offside Line into a venture which will sustain our work financially, through multiple revenue streams.

How you can help

Spread the word. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn and share any stories you like. Tell your friends and colleagues about The Offside Line.

If you share our passion for Scottish rugby, and can afford to, set up a monthly subscription to The Offside Line. Every little helps us grow.

A high value, focussed demographic

If you are a business or organisation that can see the value of our readership demographic, place your advertising with us. Speak to David and let’s see how we can work together. The Offside Line recently surpassed 100,000 page views in 30 days and continues to grow in reach.

We would like to give a big shout out to Badachro Distillery, who in advertising Badachro Gin on TOL become our very first direct banner advertiser early in 2018, another big step towards making the site viable and sustainable in the long term.

About David Barnes

David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

He has authored/co-authored four well received rugby books: Centre of Excellence (The Jim Renwick Story); The Accies (The Cradle of Scottish Rugby); Behind the Thistle (Playing Rugby for Scotland) and Behind the Lions (Playing Rugby for the British and Irish Lions).

David had an undistinguished career as an amateur rugby player for Hawick and Edinburgh Academicals which was cut short by a knee injury at the start of the 2003-4 season. By the time he had recovered from that set-back it had become painfully apparent to him that he was better suited to writing about the game than playing it.

As his father has often pointed out: If his heart had been as big as his mouth he’d have been a great player.

Since hanging up his boots, David has kept in touch with rugby at the sharp end as a coach and latterly a committee member at Trinity Academicals, which he believes provides him with an invaluable insight into the indomitable spirit of good rugby people up and down the country, who continue to ensure that this great sport remains a crucial component of the nation’s sporting landscape.


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