As with all great sporting combinations, Roy Laidlaw’s name has become inexorably linked with that of his regular half-back partner John Rutherford.
First capped against Ireland in 1980, Laidlaw went on to make 47 appearances for Scotland, scoring seven tries, until his final game against England in 1988.
A British Lion in 1983 in New Zealand, Laidlaw played in all four Tests, taking a battering behind a losing pack, and thirteen of the total eighteen matches. It is a measure of the courage and resilience that characterized his game that, despite the physical punishment and media criticism on that unsuccessful tour, the following season would be his most successful, with the winning of the Grand Slam.
It is also revealing that, after Scotland's triumph, coach Jim Telfer identified Laidlaw as Scotand’s most potent attacking weapon over the campaign – most notably in the 32-9 destruction of Ireland at Lansdowne Road, where the diminutive scrum-half scored two marvellous tries, one from a ruck, the other a scintillating break from the base of a scrum.
The Scotsman noted at the time, ‘Laidlaw more than anyone has epitomized the spirit and determination in the Scottish side this season’. A fitting compliment for one of the great team players.