Full name Andrew Robertson Irvine
Born September 16, 1951, Edinburgh
Current age 63 years 352 days
Major teams Barbarians, British and Irish Lions, British and Irish Lions XV, Presidents XV, Scotland, Scotland XV
|British and Irish Lions||1974-1980||9||9||0||28||2||1||6||0||0||3||5||1||38.88|
|Test debut||Scotland v New Zealand at Murrayfield, Dec 16, 1972 match details|
|Last Test||Australia v Scotland at Sydney, Jul 10, 1982 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
A goal-kicking machine blessed with tremendous pace, Irvine is remembered as one of the finest attacking fullbacks of all time.
Irvine made his international debut in a 14-9 defeat by the All Blacks in December 1972, the Heriot's Rugby Club ace contributing six points with the boot.
After cementing his status as one of the classiest fullbacks in the game, Irvine was included in the British & Irish Lions squad for the tour of South Africa two years later. He forced his way into the Test side in time for the series-clinching win in Port Elizabeth. However, because of doubts over his defensive capabilities and the presence of one JPR Williams (he was unfavourably compared to the Welsh legend throughout his career), Irvine was played on the right wing. Regardless, he contributed two penalties and a conversion during a commanding 26-9 victory. He retained his placed in the starting line-up for the final Test, a 12-12 draw in Johannesburg, Irvine bagging a try and a penalty this time around. He ended the tour with 156 points to his name, which was a record tally for a Lion in South Africa.
Irvine proved just as prolific in New Zealand in 1977. He equalled Malcolm Thomas's 1959 record of most points by a Lion in a single game on New Zealand soil by scoring 25 against Hanan Shield Districts, scoring a superb solo try in the process. He then broke the record for the highest amount of tries by a Lions fullback in one game by dotting five times against King Country-Waganui.
He was not considered for the 1980 trip of South Africa because of injury but was drafted in as a replacement following a spate of withdrawals during the tour and ended up featuring in three Tests, the last of which he notched in.
Irvine continued to shine for Scotland throughout his Lions career and when he played his last game for his country, against Australia in Sydney in July 1982, he departed with a then world-record haul of 301 points from 60 Tests (51 for Scotland; 9 for the Lions).
After retiring, Irvine went on to coach Heriot's Rugby Club before being appointed Scottish Rugby Union president in 2005. He then took on the role of Lions Committee chairman two years later and was appointed British & Irish Lions team manager for the 2013 tour of Australia. There are few more fitting candidates.