XV-a-Side rugby column: Legendary Hugh Dan has hung up his microphone

​Here is this week’s rugby column, in partnership with Rugby Memories Scotland.
MYSTERY MAN: Who is this ex-Scotland ace? TRUE OR FALSE: Gareth Edwards was the first Welsh player to win 100 caps for his country?MYSTERY MAN: Who is this ex-Scotland ace? TRUE OR FALSE: Gareth Edwards was the first Welsh player to win 100 caps for his country?
MYSTERY MAN: Who is this ex-Scotland ace? TRUE OR FALSE: Gareth Edwards was the first Welsh player to win 100 caps for his country?

WEEKLY ANSWERS

Last week’s mystery player was Ian McLauchlan. And it was true – the former French forward Sebastien Chabal did advertise Pour un Homme.

THE GAELIC VOICE

Congratulations to Hugh Dan McLennan who has finally hung up his microphone as a rugby commentator for BBC ALBA. Although a Shinty historian at heart, Hugh Dan has been the regular man at the mike at Scottish games and his last match was the Super Six encounter between Ayr and Stirling.

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He has also been involved at Glasgow Warriors and he will be missed by all who follow the game especially in the Gaelic heartlands.

On a personal note, he has been the inspiration behind our Shinty Memories project and his fantastic archive has been a valuable source of inspiration for the members of the groups.

GRANGEMOUTH STAGS

Grangemouth were up in Dundee, and they too were involved in a match to remember with 90 points scored. The strong Dundee side eventually won 50-40 but the Stags side emerged with a lot of credit. The seconds lost heavily to Rosyth Sharks at Glensburgh, going down 68-5.

FALKIRK RUGBY CLUB

Instead of a trip to Aberdeen, Falkirk played a rearranged game against Stewart’s -Melville and a 52-10 win saw them regain top spot in the league table. The second XV went down by the odd point in a real thriller in Tillicoultry.

BO’NESS RUGBY CLUB

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Bo’ness faced title-chasing Bannockburn at home and again showed signs of some improvement but eventually went down 40-14.

WOMEN’S RUGBY

Grangemouth Women entertained Kelso at Glensburgh in their last home league game and won 25-12.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Falkirk face Berwick with their second team also at home to Kinross. Grangemouth have a blank Saturday and the seconds are away to table-toppers Crieff and Strathearn. Bo’ness are away to Rosyth while the Grangemouth women face Valkyries.

RUGBY MEMORIES

A recurring theme in many of the Rugby Memories groups is the extent to which the game has changed since the introduction of professionalism. International players seem to be a different size and shape from those who played in the amateur days. One criterion before you could be selected to play for Scotland back then was a minimum weight of eleven stones. One West of Scotland winger was a great sprinter and tackler but was under that weight limit. To “make the weight” his colleagues filled his track suit pockets with coins and car keys. As he was about to step on the scales, the players distracted the SRU official’s attention and just to make sure, one other player stepped on the edge of the platform. Miraculously, the pointer shot up to 11st. 4ozs. and the weight was duly registered. In the pen pics, that official weight appeared in every programme that season and nobody ever doubted it. The story was told by someone who confirmed its veracity, proudly stating “I know because I was there.” (Max Boyce would have been proud of him.)