British and Irish Lions | Lion and Scotland scrum-half Coughtrie dies aged 87

Stan Coughtrie, a member of the 1959 British and Irish Lions squad who toured Australia and New Zealand, has died aged 87.

The Hamilton-born scrum-half, deceptively tall for his stance at over 6ft 1in, was selected as part of the tour after just four appearances for Scotland, having made an instant impact on the scene international.

His presence on the Tour itself was unfortunately limited due to injury. Coughtrie played against Queensland and a New South Wales XV either side of the first Test in Brisbane, but a back injury picked up in his first game was aggravated in the second, which led him to return home prematurely.

The Lions went on to beat Australia 2-0 before losing 3-1 to New Zealand as Coughtrie’s international career continued after his recovery.

His next cap for Scotland came in February 1962 as he helped them to a first victory at Cardiff for 35 years, while the last of his 11 appearances for his country came the following year in of a dramatic match at Twickenham that saw Richard Sharp’s scoreline deny Scotland a Triple Crown.

A smart kicker and model lover, Coughtrie might have earned dozens more international caps had it not been for the competition for the No.9 shirt during his peak years.

Tremayne Rodd, Alex Hastie and Brian Shillinglaw, as well as Coughtrie, each received runs from the Scottish side in an era filled with talented scrum-halves – with Coughtrie at the time considered the greatest to ever represent his country in this job.

At club level, Coughtrie was a key part of a successful Edinburgh Accies side, while his sporting talents did not stop on the rugby pitch. A keen cricket player, he captained Clydesdale before later going into business, setting up a string of sports shops around his native Glasgow.

In retirement, he moved to Vendée in western France and was survived by his wife Moray, his children, his stepchildren and four grandchildren.

Charles P. Patton