Ernie Michie: Tributes paid to former Scotland and Lions lock forward who helped end barren run

Ernie Michie, the Scotland lock forward who toured South Africa with the British & Irish Lions, has died. He was 88.

The Scotsman's report on Scotland's win over Wales in 1955 which brought to an end a run of 17 successive defeats for the national side.

Capped 15 times by Scotland, Michie was called up during one of the national side’s most trying periods. He helped spark a turnaround in fortunes as one of the XV who brought to an end a run of 17 successive defeats by beating Wales 14-8 at Murrayfield in 1955.

Arthur Smith, on his debut, scored a brilliant try and, three weeks later, the revival continued with a home win over Ireland.

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Michie’s form won him a call up for the Lions that summer and he made 11 appearances, scoring a try in the final game, a 39-12 win against East Africa in Nairobi.

He never made the Test team but played his part. He brought his bagpipes on tour and, kilted, he would pipe the Test team on to the pitch.

“Why shouldn’t I have taken my pipes, it made sense to me,” Michie told The Scotsman in a 2015 interview.

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Born in Aberdeen in 1933, he was educated at the city’s Grammar School and capped out of Aberdeen University.

He scored his only Scotland try in a 14-10 loss to Ireland in 1956 and won his final cap against England the following year.

He also played for Aberdeen GSFP, the Army, Leicester, London Scottish, Langholm and the Barbarians.

In a statement, the Lions said: “Everyone associated with the British & Irish Lions would like to pass on their sympathies to Ernie Michie’s friends and family.”

The SRU said: “Scottish Rugby extends its sincere condolences to Ernie Michie’s family and many friends.”

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