Sandy was key for Shed­den

The Rugby Paper - - News -

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.

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