Scottish Rugby has tonight (Thursday 7 November) inducted ten more rugby greats into its Hall of Fame, following the second official Hall of Fame dinner.
Tonight’s dazzling ceremony took place at the home of Scottish Rugby, Murrayfield Stadium and host Dougie Donnelly, was on hand to conduct proceedings.
He was joined by the Scotland squad for Saturday’s viagogo Autumn Test against Japan, inductees from the inaugural Hall of Fame dinner in 2010 and Scottish golfing great, Sam Torrance, who regaled the assembled rugby community with tales from his glittering career.
Back in 2010, Scottish Rugby decided to set up the Hall of Fame as a means of recognising the glorious contribution made by so many individuals since the world’s first rugby international was played in 1871.
Five great rugby Scots, former Scotland and British Lions quartet – Sir Ian McGeechan, John Jeffrey, John Beattie and Chris Rea – joined by BBC Radio Scotland commentator and nephew of Bill McLaren, Bill Johnstone – were appointed the task of choosing this year’s inductees.
Chairman of the panel, Jeffrey, said: “It’s amazing the stories that you learn when looking at the great rugby personalities who have been at the forefront of our game for more than 140 years.”
“It has been a great journey, though tough at times, to reach a decision on tonight’s ten winners. We believe all of them are very much deserving of their place in the Hall of Fame.
“Once again we wanted to get our many supporters involved with a public vote, which proved very popular in 2010, and let them contribute to the roll of honour.”
Pre World War 1 – Mark Morrison
Mark Coxon Morrison, a forward from Royal High School FP, won 23 caps for Scotland between 1896 and 1904. Just 18 when he made his international debut against Wales, he went on to captain Scotland on 15 occasions, including two Triple Crowns in 1901 and 1903. He also led the British Isles tour to South Africa in 1903, winning three caps, and was the first Scottish captain to win three Calcutta Cups, a tally, which included his last international against England at Inverleith. Aged 29 he retired from playing to concentrate on his farming business, and went on to be President of the Scottish Rugby Union in season 1934/35.
Between the Wars – Ian Smith – “The Flying Scot”
Ian Scott Smith, born in Melbourne to Scottish parents was educated in Edinburgh and continued to Oxford, then to Edinburgh University where he studied accountancy. He took up rugby at Oxford and played for both his university sides, and London Scottish, on the wing. Scoring twice on his international debut, against Wales in 1924, he went on to win 32 caps and still jointly holds the Scottish try-scoring record (24) with Tony Stanger. He also played for the British Isles touring team in South Africa in 1924. Dubbed the “Flying Scot”, his exceptional pace and high knee action made him a difficult opponent to tackle and his diagonal cross-field punts were delivered with pinpoint accuracy. His eight tries in partnership with Phil Macpherson, against France and Wales in 1925, fuelled Scotland’s Grand Slam that season. After captaining Scotland to the 1933 Grand Slam he hung up his boots, saw active service in World War Two, practised as a solicitor in Edinburgh then retired to Kelso, passing away in 1972.
1945-1959 – Hugh McLeod OBE
Born and raised in Hawick, Hugh Ferns McLeod made his international debut against France in 1954 and won his 40 caps at prop consecutively, to set a new Scottish record to beat John Bannerman’s haul of 37. The ‘Hawick Hardman’ was a fitness fanatic and a superb scrummaging technician who could play on either side of the scrum. A double Lion in 1955 and 1959, he played in all six tests in 1959. He played 14 times for the Barbarians between 1954 and 1959, scoring a try in their 1958 match and in 1955 and 1959, played for Scotland and Ireland sides against England and Wales. His last international was the draw, against England in March in 1962. Off the field, he worked in the building trade and went on to own a sports shop. He played all his club rugby for Hawick, went on to be President, and was recently named in the club’s greatest ever team.
1960s – Ian McLauchlan
John ‘Ian’ McLauchlan was born in Tarbolton, Ayrshire and educated at Ayr Academy and Jordanhill College where he studied physical education. The loosehead prop, who played his rugby with Jordanhill, Glasgow and Natal, made his international debut against England at Twickenham in 1969. He was capped 43 times for Scotland and led the national side on 19 occasions (ten of which Scotland won). An outstanding scrummager and dynamic in the loose, he was central to the British & Irish Lions Test series successes in New Zealand in 1971 and South Africa in 1974. Also captain of the Barbarians and the Wolfhounds, his final Scotland cap came against New Zealand at Murrayfield in 1979. Off the field, McLauchlan was a teacher for 14 years before setting up his own marketing and sponsorship business. He is chairman of the British & Irish Lions Trust, served two terms as Scottish Rugby Union President (2010-12), is a non Executive Director on the Scottish Rugby Board and also serves as one of Scotland’s directors on ERC.
1970s – Jim Renwick
Born and bred in Hawick, where he excelled at swimming as a youngster, James Menzies Renwick had the late Bill McLaren as his PE teacher at school. He played for Hawick Harlequins and Hawick, and was just 19 when he made his Scotland debut, against France in 1972, scoring a try to boot. In all, the centre earned 52 caps for his country – breaking Andy Irvine’s then record of 51, against Romania in 1984, his final international. At his most dangerous in attack, Renwick excelled at jinking round the opposition, swerving at pace and possessed superb handling skills. A reliable tackler and with an outstanding drop-kick, the stats highlight that he seemed at his best when facing the Welsh, scoring more tries against them than any other side he faced. In 1980 he was selected for the British Lions tour to South Africa and played in one Test. Through the Winning Scotland Foundation, Renwick has been a mentor to Stuart Hogg, the next international player after Renwick – following a 40-year gap – to be capped as a teenager.
1980s – David Leslie
While studying to become an architect, David George Leslie was first capped against Ireland in 1975, but did not become a regular in the Scotland squad until 1981. The flanker, from Dundee, West of Scotland and Gala, who represented his country on 32 occasions, is revered as one of the most focussed and fearless players of his generation. A great reader of the game, his passing and receiving of ball was spectacular. Central to the 1984 Grand Slam campaign, he also scored Scotland’s first try against Romania that year – only his second score for Scotland – and was voted Rugby World’s Player of the Year. He went on to coach Dundee HSFP and the Scotland under-21 side following retirement from playing.
1990s – Gary Armstrong
One of the toughest, most dynamic attackers of his generation, Gary Armstrong was first capped, aged 21, against Australia in 1988. The scrum half, from Jed-Forest and Newcastle Falcons, made 51 international appearances and was frequently lauded by Scotland supporters. Alongside Craig Chalmers, he was selected for the 1989 British & Irish Lions tour of Australia and the duo also took centre stage during the 1990 Grand Slam. A noted try-saving tackler, he persecuted his opposition at every opportunity on every playing stage. After captaining Scotland to the final Five Nations Championship in 1999, he retired from international rugby, but continued to play with Newcastle. He hung up his boots finally in 2004 after returning to play club rugby with the Borders.
2000s – Chris Paterson MBE
As an 18-year-old in 1996, Christopher Douglas Paterson made his debut in senior club rugby for Gala, the highlight being a solo try that won the club the 1999 Scottish Cup at Murrayfield. While studying to become a PE teacher he turned professional, signing first for Glasgow, for whom he played twice, before moving to Edinburgh Rugby. At fullback, Paterson earned his first cap for Scotland against Spain in the 1999 Rugby World Cup and, in one remarkable ten-month period in 2007/08 he kicked 36 consecutive goals for Scotland, not missing a single attempt during the 2007 Rugby World Cup or the 2008 RBS 6 Nations Championship. He captained Scotland in 2004 and made his final international appearance at the 2011 Rugby World Cup match against England, retiring as Scotland’s leading points scorer (809) and with 109 caps. He continued to play for Edinburgh Rugby until May 2012 when he moved to take on a dual role as Scottish Rugby ambassador and specialist coach.
Panel Award – Norman Mair
Edinburgh-born hooker Norman George Robertson Mair made his Scotland debut against France at Colombes in 1951, going on to win another three caps that year. Educated at Merchiston Castle School and Edinburgh Academy, he continued his studies and his rugby at Edinburgh University. Mair was also a gifted cricketer – a left-hand batsman and slow left-arm bowler – and was capped in 1952 for his country. He went on to become a journalist, primarily for The Scotsman on rugby and golf, and is married to Lewine Mair, who was the first woman to work as a golf correspondent of a national newspaper. In addition to being a panel member for Scottish Rugby’s inaugural Hall of Fame, Mair also held a similar role with the IRB.
Public Vote – John Rutherford
A natural athlete with a fine rugby brain, John Young Rutherford made his international debut against Wales in 1979 and won 42 caps for Scotland at fly-half. Playing out of Selkirk and the South, he was picked to play at inside centre on the British Lions tour to New Zealand in 1983 and went on to be a major presence in Scotland’s 1984 Grand Slam. Rutherford partnered Jed-Forest scrum half Roy Laidlaw in 35 tests, at the time a record international half-back pairing. Rutherford also played in the British & Irish Lions side against a Rest of the World XV as part of the IRB centenary celebration in 1986, and his final game for Scotland was their first match in the 1987 Rugby World Cup against France when he sustained a knee injury early in the fixture. After retiring from playing, Rutherford went on to work in the financial sector, and is currently a Director of the Bill McLaren Foundation.
Rutherford came top in the public vote ahead of Gegor Townsend, John Bannerman, Douglas Elliot and Bill Maclagan.