A supremely unorthodox attacking lock, Alistair McHarg appeared in places that second-row’s weren’t supposed to go – he could crop up on the wing, occasionally perhaps as an auxiliary full-back, or maybe helping out as a third centre.
McHarg was perhaps fortunate to have Gordon Brown – a lesson in the orthodox art of the lock - as his partner in the second-row for much of his career. Equally however, Scotland were the beneficiaries of his incalculable influence in open-play. It’s probably fairer to say that McHarg and Brown uniquely complimented each other.
McHarg won 44 caps for his country between his debut against Ireland in 1968 and his final match against England in 1979. Even in season 1982-83, when Scotland were suffering badly in the line-out, there were calls for his international recall - this despite the fact that the veteran lock was nearly forty.
Alistair McHarg was never a British Lion – perhaps due to his lighter build, perhaps his unpredictability. He should have been.