Andy Irvine (rugby union)

(Redirected from Andy Irvine (rugby player))

Andrew Robertson Irvine MBE (born 16 September 1951) is a former president of the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU), and a former Scottish international rugby player.[1] He earned fifty one Scotland caps, captaining the team on fifteen occasions, and scored 250 points for Scotland.[2] He went on three British Lions tours.

Andy Irvine
Birth nameAndrew Robertson Irvine
Date of birth (1951-09-16) 16 September 1951 (age 71)
Place of birthEdinburgh, Scotland
SchoolGeorge Heriot's School
UniversityEdinburgh University
Occupation(s)Chartered Surveyor
Rugby union career
Position(s) Fullback
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
- Heriot's ()
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
- Edinburgh District ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
British Lions
Correct as of 26 October 2009
Teams coached
Years Team
2013 British & Irish Lions (tour manager)
119th President of the Scottish Rugby Union
In office
Preceded byGordon Dixon
Succeeded byGeorge Jack


Irvine was born in Edinburgh, on 16 September 1951. He was educated at James Gillespie's Primary School and George Heriot's School.[3] From there he went on to Edinburgh University where he graduated in Geography.

Rugby Union careerEdit

Amateur careerEdit

Irvine originally played for Heriot's Rugby Club.[1]

Provincial careerEdit

Irvine represented Edinburgh District in the Scottish Inter-District Championship.[4]

International careerEdit

As fullback for Scotland, Irvine won 51 caps, between 1972–82 and scored ten tries.[1] His first cap was against the All Blacks in December 1972.[5] His last international appearance was against Australia on 10 July 1982.[6]

Irvine earned British Lions caps against South Africa (1974), New Zealand (1977) and South Africa (1980). He scored 156 points in fifteen games on the 1974 Lion tour.[7] He also played for the Barbarians during their 1976 Easter Tour. In the 1974 tour, he adopted many South African tactics and styles of play, although JPR Williams was preferred as full back for the tests, limiting Irvine to two test appearances on the wing.[2][1]

Irvine vies with Ken Scotland, Gavin Hastings and Stuart Hogg for the title of Scotland's greatest ever fullback, with incisive running at a blistering pace from the back his trademark.[8] A number of polls have voted Irvine Scotland's greatest player,[9] and he is generally considered[10] one of the best, if not the best, attacking full backs of his era.[11] His presence in the line often distracted defenders even when he did not have possession.[12]

Administrative careerEdit

In May 2005, Irvine announced his intention to stand for president of the Scottish Rugby Union.[13] He was elected. He announced his readiness to stand for a second term at the end of March 2006.[14] and was unopposed.[15] He stepped down from the role in June 2007, having served the maximum of two years in the post.[16]

In August 2010 Irvine was appointed as the first independent chairman of Celtic Rugby.[17]

In March 2010 the Bill McLaren Foundation launched, with Irvine and John Rutherford directors.[18]

Irvine was the tour manager of the 2013 British & Irish Lions tour to Australia.[19] It was the first successful Lions' tour since 1997, with the Lions winning the series 2-1.

Property careerEdit

After graduation Irvine followed a career in chartered surveying. In 2004, after 26 years at the property consultancy firm Jones Lang LaSalle, eight of them as managing director, he was appointed as chairman.[20]

Other activitiesEdit

Irvine has appeared as a guest on BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound radio programme to comment on international rugby games. He has also coached rugby at Heriot's Rugby Club.

Awards and honoursEdit

Irvine was made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 1979 Birthday Honours for services to Rugby Football in Scotland.[21]

In 2002 Irvine was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame.[22] He is an inductee of the International Rugby Hall of Fame.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d Bath, p141
  2. ^ a b Massie, p142
  3. ^ Heatly, Gary (22 May 2014). "Heriot's tribute will honour Andy Irvine career". The Scotsman. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  4. ^ Downie, John (19 December 1977). "Andy Irvine stars". The Glasgow Herald. p. 16. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  5. ^ McMurtrie, Bill (18 December 1972). "Injury-time tries by New Zealand harsh blows to spirited XV". The Glasgow Herald. p. 5. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  6. ^ McMurtrie, Bill (12 July 1982). "Maclean and Gould transform the Australians". The Glasgow Herald. p. 15. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  7. ^ "The greatest full-backs of all time: Andy Irvine". Rugby World. 18 August 2016. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  8. ^ Andy Irvine Archived 11 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine International Rugby Hall of Fame
  9. ^ "Irvine voted the best Scottish player". The Herald. 8 November 2001. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  10. ^ "Twenty great rugby players - the Scotsman". Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  11. ^ a b International Rugby Hall of Fame Andy Irvine Archived 11 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ On this day in Scotland : Andy Irvine Ian Colville, 15 September 2010
  13. ^ Ferguson, David (7 May 2005). "Irvine ready to answer his country's call". The Scotsman. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  14. ^ Irvine to stand for second term at SRU, 1 April 2006
  15. ^ "Irvine second term will be unopposed". The Scotsman. 28 June 2006. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  16. ^ "Jack takes over as SRU president". BBC News. 29 June 2007.
  17. ^ "Andy Irvine becomes chairman of Magners League". BBC News. 24 August 2010.
  18. ^ "Bill Mclaren Foundation Launched". Scottish Rugby (Press release). 4 March 2010. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  19. ^ Morrison, Iain (25 March 2012). "Interview: Andy Irvine, British and Irish Lions tour manager and former Scotland international". The Scotsman. Retrieved 11 June 2022.
  20. ^ "Irvine to tackle new role at JLL in shake-up". The Scotsman. 29 June 2004. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  21. ^ "Supplement to the London Gazette" (PDF). London Gazette. 26 June 1979. p. B57. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  22. ^ "The names in the Hall of Fame". BBC News. 30 November 2002.
  1. Bath, Richard (ed.) The Complete Book of Rugby (Seven Oaks Ltd, 1997 ISBN 1-86200-013-1)
  2. Massie, Allan A Portrait of Scottish Rugby (Polygon, Edinburgh; ISBN 0-904919-84-6)

External linksEdit