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Scottish Rugby Hall of Fame: Ten legends inducted

The inductess gather at Murrayfield for last nights dinner. Picture: Jane Barlow

The inductess gather at Murrayfield for last nights dinner. Picture: Jane Barlow

  • by STUART BATHGATE
 

SCOTTISH Rugby honoured some of the most distinguished names in its history at a Murrayfield dinner last night, as ten men were inducted into its Hall of Fame.

The ten, who are the second group of inductees following the inauguration of the Hall three years ago, span almost the entire breadth of the international game, from the late 19th century to the very recent past.

The group who selected them are themselves some of the best-known people in rugby: former internationals John Jeffrey, Sir Ian McGeechan, Chris Rea, John Beattie and broadcaster Bill Johnstone. The quintet considered a shortlist from each of eight different eras: before the First World War, the inter-war years, 1945-59, the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s and the 2000s.

There was also a panel award, in which the five were free to nominate an inductee themselves. In addition, one inductee was selected by public vote.

There were a dozen inductees in 2010, including McGeechan himself. The others were Ned Haig, David Bedell-Sivright, GPS McPherson, Ken Scotland, Sandy Carmichael, Jim Telfer, Andy Irvine, Finlay Calder, Gordon Brown, Bill McLaren and Gavin Hastings.

Here are the 2013 inductees...

MARK MORRISON

A powerfully built forward, he made his international debut at the age of 18, and won 23 caps between 1896 and 1904. He captained Scotland 15 times, including their Triple Crown wins of 1901 and 1903, and in the latter year also captained the British Isles tour to South Africa.

Morrison’s last international was a victory against England at Inverleith, a result that made him the first Scotland captain to win the Calcutta Cup three times. He retired from playing rugby at the relatively early age of 29 in order to concentrate on his family business, but remained involved in the sport and was president of the SRU in the 1934-35 season. A farmer in East Lothian, he died in May 1945, two days after the end of the war in Europe.

IAN SMITH

Born in Melbourne to Scottish parents, he played for Edinburgh University, Oxford University and London Scottish. An elusive, lightning-fast winger, he scored two tries on his international debut, against Wales in 1924. He went on to win a total of 34 caps, and still jointly holds the Scottish try-scoring record of 24 with Tony Stanger.

Like Stanger, Smith played a vital role in a Scots Grand Slam, scoring eight tries in the 1925 campaign in which he and GPS Macpherson were rampant. He captained Scotland in 1933, when they won the Triple Crown, after which he retired from rugby. A solicitor by profession, he retired to Kelso and died in 1972.

HUGH McLEOD

A fearsome competitor who was also a model of consistency, the Hawick prop made his international debut in 1954 – the start of a record-breaking run of 40 consecutive internationals. He toured with the Lions in both 1955 and 1959, playing in all six Tests in the latter year (two in Australia and four in New Zealand). McLeod’s last international was the draw with England in 1962.

A builder by trade, he also owned a sports shop. He played all his club rugby for Hawick, became the club president, and was recently named in their greatest ever team.

IAN McLAUCHLAN

Born in Ayrshire, he played 43 times for Scotland, making his debut against England in 1969. As a loosehead prop he was an outstanding scrummager; as a captain, he was an inspiring leader whose self-belief instilled itself in his less naturally confident colleagues. He led Scotland in 19 matches, winning ten, and also captained the Barbarians.

McLauchlan also toured with the Lions in the winning series of 1971 (against New Zealand) and 1974 (against South Africa), and won his last cap for Scotland against the All Blacks in 1979. A former president of the Scottish Rugby Union, he sits on the Scottish Rugby Board as a non-executive director.

JIM RENWICK

Having been taught PE at school in Hawick by Bill McLaren, he quickly made a mark for himself in the game and won the first of his 52 caps in 1972 while still a teenager. The last, against Romania in 1984, broke Andy Irvine’s then record of 51.

A tourist with the Lions in 1980, Renwick was a gifted back whose instinctive creativity could be the undoing of even the most well-marshalled defence. Besides his contribution at international level, he was also a committed servant of Hawick, being a key member of his hometown team during their years of domestic dominance.

DAVID LESLIE

More than any other player of his era, Leslie was the epitome of teamwork, committing himself to the cause with an apparent disregard for his own safety. By the same token, that commitment, combined with his excellent reading of the game, also made him a superb individual player.

First capped in 1975, the flanker had to wait for six further seasons before becoming established in the Scotland squad. He played a vital part in the 1984 Grand Slam, and was voted Rugby World magazine’s Player of the Year that season.

GARY ARMSTRONG

As competitive behind the pack as Leslie was in it, Armstrong had a central role in two of Scottish rugby’s greatest campaigns – the Grand Slam of 1990 and the final Five Nations Championship in 1999.

First capped two years before the Grand Slam, the Jed-Forest and Newcastle scrum-half went on to play 51 times for his country, and also played on the Lions tour to Australia in 1989. He retired from international duty after the Rugby World Cup of 1999, playing on at club level for another five years. A dangerous sniper at close quarters, he also punched well above his weight in defence.

CHRIS PATERSON

The youngest of last night’s ten inductees, he first made his mark with the solo try that won the Scottish Cup for Gala back in 1999. He made his Scotland debut in the Rugby World Cup later that same year, and went on to play in four separate stagings of the global tournament.

Paterson’s last international appearance – his 109th cap – was against England in the 2011 World Cup. He played on for a further season with Edinburgh, and is now a specialist coach.

Although initially a stand-off, he played much of his international rugby at full-back, and in 2007 and ‘08 was the most lethal place-kicker in the world.

NORMAN MAIR

While the eight players named above were all selected by era, the panel were also able to choose from the wider world of Scottish rugby. In Mair they selected a man who, while an international at both rugby and cricket, became better known to younger generations as a journalist with The Scotsman.

Born in 1928, he won his four Scotland caps in 1951, representing his country at cricket the following year. A writer who combined a gift for the humorous anecdote with a deep knowledge of the sport’s technical minutiae, he was a member of the panel that selected the initial group of inductees to the Hall of Fame three years ago.

JOHN RUTHERFORD

Like the panel award, the public award was selected from a shortlist in which a number of eras of the game were represented. Scotland supporters were invited to vote online, and in Rutherford they chose one of the most well-liked players of recent decades.

First capped in 1979, the Selkirk stand-off played 42 times in all for his country, the highlight being the 1984 Grand Slam. His last match was Scotland’s first ever outing in a Rugby World Cup, in 1987 against France, when a knee injury ended his involvement.

He also played at centre for the Lions in their 1983 tour of New Zealand.

To get in touch and have your club featured on the Scotsman Rugby Show, contact us at: david.ferguson@jpress.co.uk

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