Former Scotland coach Dougie Morgan dies aged 73

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Former Scotland coach Dougie Morgan has died at the age of 73 following a long illness.

Former Scotland coach Dougie Morgan has died at the age of 73 following a long illness.

The scrum-half played 21 times for Scotland between 1973 and 1978, an international career which earned him a place on the British & Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand in 1977.

Two appearances came Morgan’s way in the Land of the Long White Cloud, scoring all nine of the Lions’ points with a try, conversion and penalty in the fourth Test in Auckland.

His playing days may have ended in his early 30s but his rugby journey was only just beginning, with Morgan taking his place in Scotland’s backroom staff for the 1990 Five Nations.

His role proved to be a significant one, with Scotland going on to win the Grand Slam under the tutelage of Sir Ian McGeechan – Morgan’s former teammate.

“Dougie was a team-mate who became a very good friend during an association which covered four decades,” McGeechan told Scottish Rugby.

“He was hugely competitive and a talented sportsman, had a deep understanding of the game and was tactically very aware.

“I will never forget him standing on Gareth Edwards’ foot to distract him whilst trying to put the ball into the scrum, an approach which stopped Wales playing and we ultimately won the game.

“He was a great room-mate and always had a mug of tea waiting by the bedside in a morning. He was a great friend and companion.

“I have memories I will always cherish and be very thankful for knowing Dougie.”

Edinburgh-born Morgan then became head coach of his country across the 1993-94 season, leading Scotland to the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals in South Africa in 1995.

As well as securing a first victory over France in Paris in 26 years, Morgan came close to securing another Grand Slam – pipped to the post by England in the 1995 Five Nations decider at Twickenham.

“Dougie was a hugely popular figure in his time as manager of the national team,” said current head coach Gregor Townsend.

“He was someone who enjoyed having a laugh with the players, although he kept his natural competitive instinct whenever we took him on at pool or on the golf course.

“He has contributed a huge amount to Scottish rugby and he’ll be sorely missed.”