Sandy was key for Shedden
WAY back in the Seventies when rugby really was a game for all shapes and sizes, the Scotland selectors enforced an unwritten rule which has only come to light with the passing of David Shedden. A champion schoolboy sprinter, he played 15 Tests on the wing but only after the scales had been literally tipped in his favour.
Sandy Carmichael, the courageous prop who took a fearful battering during the Lions’ infamous run-in with the Canterbury ‘butchers’ in 1971, explained how they helped the lightly-built new boy at his official weigh-in.
“The Scottish selectors had a policy that you had to weigh more than eleven stone to be picked,” Carmichael said. “We knew we’d be weighed in at the first District game and we piled keys, coins, anything we could find into Dave’s tracksuit pockets to get the scales over eleven stone.”
It worked. Shedden, who has died aged 73, may have lost his place a few times over the course of an intermittent career spanning six years but never for being under weight. His funeral took place last Monday.