Scotland will fly the saltire at half-mast at BT Murrayfield today after legendary prop Sandy Carmichael passed away on Wednesday, aged 77.
Carmichael made his international debut against Ireland in the 1967 Five Nations and, in an 11-year career, became the first Scotland player to win 50 Test caps.
He also toured twice with The British & Irish Lions, first on the famous 1971 tour of New Zealand – which the Lions won 2-1 – and again in 1974 against South Africa.
Renowned for his surprising pace and traditional strength, Carmichael was one third one of the most feared front rows in the game, alongside Ian McLauchlan and Frank Laidlaw, while Duncan Madsen and Colin Fisher also joined him at the coalface.
McLauchlan said: “Sandy was a gentle giant and a really, really good rugby player.
“He was obviously one of the all-time greats as far as Scotland is concerned but vastly popular throughout the rugby world.
“He was an amazing tourist. Nothing put him up nor down. He would never get up in the morning and be grumpy. You always found him the same – just Sandy.
“He was hugely motivated to work in any situation and with any team he played for. It’s a great loss.”
Carmichael made his first Scotland start against New Zealand in 1967 and featured in Scottish victories against Australia and South Africa, while in 1977 he was made an MBE.
Chairman of the Scottish Rugby Board John Jeffrey said: “The term legend is used too often in the modern game, but Sandy was a true legend of the game in Scotland which was recognised by him being included in the very first tranche of inductees in our Hall of Fame.
“He was a giant of a man who not only anchored the pack but broke that mould by being a great ball player as well as an athlete.
“Once he retired from playing he continued to put something back into the game by coaching at club level and was a trail-blazer for the Women’s game.
“Off the pitch, he was an absolute gentleman who always had a word for young enthusiastic players at all levels.
“Scottish Rugby has lost one of its greatest ambassadors and our thought and condolences are with his family.”