The SRU have followed their Irish counterparts in retrospectively awarding caps to Scotland players who played in international matches that didn’t carry Test cap status. It was earlier this year when Ireland decided to add 17 players – including Brian O’Driscoll’s father Frank – to its list of officially capped players.
They had featured in the 19 matches against national sides where caps were not awarded by Ireland, but that anomaly has now been rectified and these players will receive their caps at this Saturday’s Summer Nations Series match in Dublin versus England.
Scotland have now followed suit, with the SRU agreeing on Tuesday to honour 56 of its players who were regarded as uncapped despite playing internationally for their country. The SRU have also launched a new research programme to cap uncapped former women’s players and referees.
A statement read: “Scottish Rugby is to honour retrospectively more than 50 players who represented their country in matches that at the time did not carry Test cap status. The decision, made by the Scottish Rugby Union custodian board, was announced on Tuesday by president Colin Rigby.
“Existing chronological Scotland cap numbers will not be affected by this initiative. Nor will the past caps and points records of other players who won full caps be adjusted for those games.
“All 56 retrospective capped players will be added in a panel after Scotland’s most recent new cap – Cameron Henderson of Leicester Tigers, who was cap number 1,140. Their numbers will run forward from 1,141 to 1,196.
“Following the research to award retrospective caps in the men’s game, Scottish Rugby will also ensure that all players to have represented Scotland women will receive a cap, as the physical cap presentation was not always a part of the women’s game in the past.
“Scottish Rugby will also embark on a project to ensure that all our international referees, in both the men’s and women’s game, will be recognised with a physical cap.”
Rigby said: “Those individuals who wore the thistle with pride and distinction, whether in Services or Victory internationals during and after the Second World War, or who played under the label of a Scotland XV against other nations, will now join the fabled ranks of the 1,140 other men to have been capped by Scotland since 1871.
“Given this year marks the 150th anniversary of the formation of the union, we wanted to look afresh at our history and recognise the rich and enduring contribution those players have made to our game.
“Awarding a cap retrospectively may seem purely symbolic or belated by some people, but I know from conversations with some of those players and their families what this decision will mean to them and that granting cap status will be cherished.
“Our plan is to reach out to the relatives of those sadly no longer with us and conduct a cap presentation for those from the Services and Victory international matches in tandem with our annual poignant service of remembrance at the war memorial at Scottish Gas Murrayfield on Armistice Day in November.
“Therefore, we welcome contact from any relatives of those players from the 1940s, so we can begin to plan for that ceremony. Thereafter, we will look to award caps during our home matches in next year’s Guinness Six Nations.”
The full Scotland retrospective caps list:
1942 Services Rugby: Scotland 21 England 6, 21 March, Inverleith
Lt A W B Buchanan (London Scottish)
Cadet M R Dewar (Watsonians)
Cadet E C K Douglas (Edinburgh University)
Lt S G A Harper (Watsonians)
Flt Lt E C Hunter (Watsonians)
Corporal J Maltman (Hawick)
Lt N W Ramsay (Army)
1942 Services Rugby: England 5 Scotland 8, 11 April, Wembley
Captain J B McNeil (Glasgow HSFP)
Cadet D A Roberts (Edinburgh Accies)
1943 Services Rugby: Scotland 6 England 29, 27 February, Inverleith
Lt J M Blair (Edinburgh Accies/Oxford University)
Corporal R Cowe (Melrose)
Lt C McLay (Edinburgh Accies)
1943 Services Rugby: England 24 Scotland 19, 10 April, Leicester
Captain W B Biggart (Army/Glasgow Accies)
Flt Officer E Grant (Royal NZ Air Force)
Lt M D Kennedy (Army)
1944 Services Rugby: Scotland 13 England 23, 26 February, Murrayfield
Cadet Rating A E Murray (Oxford University)
1944 Services Rugby: England 27 Scotland 15, 18 March, Leicester
Company Sergeant Major J R McLure (Ayr/Wasps)
Captain H G Uren (Glasgow Accies)
1945 Services Rugby: England 11 Scotland 18, 24 February, Leicester
Flt Officer A L Barcroft (Heriot’s)
Captain J R Henderson (Glasgow Accies)
Flt Officer D D McKenzie (RAF and Merchistonians)
Private R M McKenzie (New Zealand)
Sq Ldr J B Nicholls (NSW and Royal Australian Air Force)
Captain J A D Thom (Hawick)
Sub Lt C Wilhelm (South African Services)
1945 Services Rugby: Scotland 5 England 16, 17 March, Murrayfield
Lt E A Melling (Army and Sedbergh)
1946 Victory International: Scotland 11 New Zealand Army 6
J Anderson (London Scottish)
J Kirk (Edinburgh Accies/Wands)
1946 Victory International: England 12 Scotland 8, 16 March, Twickenham K S H Wilson (London Scottish)
1969 Argentina 20 Scotland XV 3, 13 September, Buenos Aires
Ian Murchie (West of Scotland)
Arthur Orr (London Scottish)
1969 Argentina 3 Scotland XV 6, 27 September, Buenos Aires Bruce Laidlaw (Royal HSFP)
1976 Scotland XV 34 Japan 9, 25 September, Murrayfield
David Ashton (Ayr)
Jim Carswell (Jordanhill)
1977 Japan 9 Scotland XV 74, 18 September, Tokyo
Colin Mair (West of Scotland)
Rob Moffat (Melrose)
1986 Spain 17 Scotland XV 39, 1 May, Cornella, Barcelona
Stuart Johnston (Watsonians)
Garry Waite (Kelso)
1987 Scotland XV 15 France XV 12, 26 September, Netherdale
Tim Exeter (Moseley)
Jeremy Macklin (London Scottish)
Ian Ramsey (Melrose)
1988 Zimbabwe 10 Scotland XV 31, 21 May, Bulawayo
David Butcher (Harlequins)
Ruari Maclean (Gloucester)
Stewart McAslan (Heriot’s)
Kevin Rafferty (Heriot’s)
Hugh Parker (Kilmarnock)
1989 Japan 28 Scotland XV 24, 28 May, Chichibu Stadium, Tokyo
Grant Wilson (Boroughmuir)
1991 USA 12 Scotland XV 41, 18 May, Hartford, Connecticut
Mark Moncrieff (Gala)
1991 Canada 24 Scotland XV 19, 25 May, Saint John, New Brunswick
Ronnie Kirkpatrick (Jedforest)
1993 Fiji 10 Scotland XV 21, 29 May, Commonwealth Stadium, Suva
Ally Donaldson (Currie)
Steve Ferguson (Peebles)
Nick Grecian (London Scottish)
Gary Isaac (Gala)
Robb Scott (London Scottish)
1993 Tonga 5 Scotland XV 23, 5 June, Teufaiva Stadium, Nuku’alofa
Craig Redpath (Melrose)
1998 Rugby World Cup qualifier Scotland XV 85 Spain 3, 5 December 1998, Murrayfield
Willie Anderson (Glasgow Caledonians/Kirkcaldy)