Ex-Scotland coach and Calcutta Cup hero Nairn MacEwan dies

Nairn MacEwen coached the Scotland national team before Jim Telfer took over. Picture: Robert Perry
Nairn MacEwen coached the Scotland national team before Jim Telfer took over. Picture: Robert Perry
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The SRU has expressed sadness at the death yesterday of ex-Scotland back-row forward and former national coach Nairn MacEwan at the age of 76.

MacEwan was part of four victories over England in his international career, including the famous win at Twickenham in 1971 and the Centenary Match the same year. He scored his only try for Scotland in the 23-9 Calcutta Cup win in 1972 and helped beat the auld enemy again in 1974.

MacEwan became national coach, then an unpaid role with the title “adviser to the captain” in 1977, replacing Bill Dickinson.

Born in Dar-es-Salaam, in what is now Tanzania, in December 1941, MacEwan was described yesterday by his former Scotland team-mate and captain Ian McLauchlan as a “very, very good player who was extremely dedicated to the game and a real student of the game”.

Considered one of the best Scottish players not to have achieved Lions selection, MacEwan’s commitment was legendary. He would often travel three times in a week, twice for training and then at 
the weekend to play for Gala, from his home near Inverness.

MacEwan won his first cap against France at the Stade Colombes in Paris in January 1971 and won 20 caps in total over the next four years.

In 1977 he took on the role of “advisor to the 
captain” and coached the national team for the next three years, before he was succeeded by Jim Telfer.

Funeral details will be posted on the Scottish Rugby website in due course.