Greig David Laidlaw, a nephew of Scotland’s legendary scrum half, Roy Laidlaw, has made the most appearances as Scotland captain, equalling David Sole’s record (25) on the same day he marked a half century of appearances for his country – a feat he surpassed in the last game of the 2016 RBS 6 Nations championship.
Laidlaw is also third on Scotland’s all-time points list, overtaking Dan Parks’ haul of 266 and Andy Irvine’s 273 with a 14-point contribution to Scotland’s 41-31 win against Argentina in the opening viagogo Autumn Test of 2014.
It was in the year leading up the competition – starting 12 of Scotland’s 14 Tests, coupled with his impreious performances throughout the Rugby World Cup 2015 – that Laidlaw also earned recognition with nomination for World Rugby’s Player of the Year award.
Leading by example, he bowed out of the RWC in the quarter-finals as the leading point-scorer with 79, 26 of them – including a crucial late try – coming in the 36-33 win over Samoa that booked his side’s place in the last eight.
Laidlaw’s metronomic kicking continued the following year, in the 2016 RBS 6 Nations, and saw him finish as second-top point’s scorer; his man-of-the-match winning contribution of 19 helping him on the way to a championship total of 62, that saw him pass the 500 point mark in the last game against Ireland.
Laidlaw won his first cap for Scotland as a replacement for his injured Edinburgh team-mate, Mike Blair, in the opening Autumn Test against New Zealand at BT Murrayfield in November 2010.
He marked his first start for Scotland with a try, conversion and two penalties in the 13-27 loss to Wales at the Millennium Stadium in February 2012. In the historic 9-6 victory over Australia in New South Wales in 2012, he kicked all Scotland’s points.
His injury-time conversion ensured victory over Samoa and a three-from-three clean sweep over the southern hemisphere nations on that summer’s tour.
On the 2013 summer tour Laidlaw became Scotland’s 113th Test match captain, replacing the injured Kelly Brown for the Tests against South Africa and Italy. Against the latter his injury time conversion of Alasdair Strokosch’s try ensured a winning end to the season.
A product of Jed-Forest, Laidlaw represented Borders’ under-16 and under-18 as well as Scotland under-18, before he made his under-21 international debut as a replacement in the win against Italy in Inverness in February 2005.
Greig emabarked on his senior professional rugby career in 2006 when he joined Edinburgh Rugby from Jed-Forest, after two years in the Scotland under-21 team.
His first appearance was as a replacement in the Magners League victory against Leinster at BT Murrayfield in September 2006, and his first start for the professional team was against Cardiff Blues the following November, also at home in Edinburgh.
He subsequently played in the under-21 world championship in Mendoza, Argentina, and he was first-choice scrum half throughout the 2006 under-21 six nations championship and the world championship in France, where he scored a try in each of two successive matches against Georgia and Fiji.
In January 2008 he was called into the Scotland sevens squad for the first time for the IRB tournaments the following month in Wellington (New Zealand) and San Diego (USA), and he continued in the Hong Kong, Adelaide (Australia), London and Edinburgh tournaments.
A week after the Australian tournament he played for the Scottish Thistles who won the Melrose club’s 125th anniversary sevens. He marked his international sevens debut with a try in the win against Tonga in Scotland’s opening match in Wellington.
Immediately after the 2008 Edinburgh sevens tournament he crossed the Atlantic with the Scotland A squad for the Barclays Churchill Cup in Canada, making his debut as scrum half in the win against Argentina.
He had further Scotland A appearances as a replacement against Ireland and Italy in February 2009. He was back in the sevens squad in May 2009 for the IRB’s Twickenham and Murrayfield tournaments.
Six months later he won the man-of-the-match award as a try-scorer in Scotland A’s win against Tonga by 38-7 at Netherdale, Galashiels. In 2010 Greig was named in the Scotland sevens squad and appeared for Scotland A against both Ireland A and Italy A.
Greig was honoured to be named captain in the latter of these fixtures. In the summer of 2010 he added three more appearances for Scotland A against Georgia, Namibia and the Argentine Jaguars during the IRB Nations Cup. He captained the A team to victory over Ireland Wolfhounds and Italy A at Netherdale in the early part of 2011.