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Roy Laidlaw

Nation: Scotland
Place of Birth: Jedburgh, October 5, 1953
Position: Scrum half
Internationals: 47 caps between 1980 and 1988
Inducted: England v Scotland (February 3, 2007)

The following article has been adapted from the original by Dai Llewellyn, which focused on two players. It has been changed to highlight only the selected inductee’s information.

Roy Laidlaw will forever be associated with his Borders half back partner John Rutherford: the pair played alongside each other on no fewer than 34 of Laidlaw’s 47 Scotland appearances.

But in the 1983 Calcutta Cup match there was a moment in the game, a crucial moment, when Laidlaw ignored his partner and friend, and decided to go it alone. Almost a quarter of a century later, the former Jedforest scrum half recalled with near 20-20 memory the second international try of his career.

“I had captained Scotland in the first three matches of what was then the Five Nations Championship and we had lost all of them,” Laidlaw said. “For the Calcutta Cup match I was demoted because they felt that it was affecting my game, but it’s never one thing, is it? Jim Telfer had been appointed Lions coach so he was not allowed to coach Scotland. John Rutherford had been injured and so had missed those first three matches. So, anyway, Jim Aitken, the prop, took over the captaincy. And it turned out well. We won the game, for only the second time since the war. And I scored a try.”

Actually the modest Laidlaw scored THE try. The one that mattered. The one that meant Scotland avoided the Wooden Spoon and achieved a feat that has not been matched since – victory on English turf.

As for the try, Laidlaw remembered: “I broke off on the right-hand side at a scrum and I managed to slip past Nick Jeavons I think it was, the England flanker. I outpaced him and then cut back inside the cover defence and scored a very simple try. To score a try and win more than made up for losing the captaincy.”

Laidlaw went on to work for the SRU, coaching at age group levels, helping to unearth and develop talented Scottish youngsters. A few years ago he gave that up and reverted to his trade of electrician, but he is still heavily involved in the game at his lifelong club Jedforest and at the local school.

Article by Dai Llewellyn



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