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.

Support The Offside Line

Offside Line community, we need your support to grow and expand our coverage of Rugby in Scotland
Rugby supporters everywhere understand the importance of good, independent and objective reporting and the team at The Offside Line want to continue to offer the most comprehensive coverage of rugby at all levels in Scotland (and beyond) we possibly can.

With your support and that of the clubs, we can continue to grow and expand our coverage of the sport every season from the men’s and women’s national teams through to schools and grassroots.
We recognise there is still much to do to support the development of the women’s game in particular and will be working with the clubs and representatives of that strand of the game to bring this to life as soon as we are able to do so.

What we are trying to achieve

As mainstream newspapers continually reduced their investment in rugby, we recognised the need and opportunity for a news outlet devoted to serious, in-depth coverage of the game, and so The Offside Line was launched. We are continually growing and improving in our offering and want to use 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 and doing everything we can to negate the need for a paywall across the site.

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, please set up a monthly subscription to The Offside Line.Every little helps and we do depend on your support.

Advertising, Sponsorship and Partnership with The Offside Line

If you are a business or organisation that can see the value of our high value, focused and extensive readership demographic, place your advertising with us. Speak to the team and let’s see how we can work together. The Offside Line recently surpassed 380,000 page views in one month 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, and to long-term supporters, Colin Campbell Sports and McCrea Financial Services who have consistently placed advertising with us over the last few years. We recently welcomed Alpha Whisky to the fold and look forward to welcoming many more brands and partners in future. Commercial partnerships are another big step towards making the site viable and sustainable in the long term.

About our Managing Editor

David Barnes 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 a committee member at Trinity Academicals, and as Midis coach at Portobello RFC/Edinburgh Harlequins, 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.