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Jim Telfer

Jim Telfer
Birth nameJames Telfer
Date of birth (1940-03-17) 17 March 1940 (age 79)
Place of birthMelrose, Scotland
Height1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight94 kg (14 st 11 lb; 207 lb)[1]
UniversityMoray House School of Education
Occupation(s)Retired
Rugby union career
Position(s) Number eight
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
19??-1974
1959-1971
Melrose RFC
South of Scotland
()
Correct as of 24 July 2007
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1964-1970
1966-1968
Scotland
British Lions
22
6
(?)
Correct as of 1 March 2009
Teams coached
Years Team
1980–1984
1988–1993
1993–1995
1995-1998
1998-1999
1999–2003
1983,1997
Scotland
Scotland (Assist. Coach)
Scotland
Scotland (Director of Rugby)
Scotland
Scotland (Assist. Coach)
British Lions

James Telfer (born 17 March 1940) is a Scottish rugby union coach and a former rugby union footballer. As a player, he gained 21 international caps in the amateur era, also having a career as a headmaster at Hawick High School and Galashiels Academy as a chemistry teacher. He won fame as a Scottish forwards coach who gave punishing training sessions to his players. With Sir Ian McGeechan he has had success with both the Scotland national rugby union team and the British and Irish Lions.

Playing career

Telfer worked as a chemistry teacher.[2] His first cap came against France at Murrayfield on 4 March 1964.[3] His last match for Scotland was on 28 February 1970 at Lansdowne Road against Ireland.[4]

Telfer gained twenty one caps for Scotland, and, but for injury, might have gained more. Allan Massie writes of him:

"Telfer is a man of innate authority. (There's a wealth of quiet reserve and self-knowledge, touched by that form of self-mockery which appears as under-statement, in the way he will describe himself as being a 'dominant personality')"[5]

Telfer played back row for Scotland and for the Lions in 1966 and 1968. He was impressed and heavily influenced by New Zealand rugby.[5] Unfortunately, after a cartilage operation he slowed up.[5] He played 23 games for the British and Irish Lions on their 1966 tour to Australia and New Zealand[6] and 11 games on their 1968 tour to South Africa.[7]

Between 1963 and 1967, he played 8 times for the Barbarians FC, scoring six points.[8]

George Crerar said of Telfer "The great thing about Jim Telfer is that he makes sure that if he isn't going to win the ball the other side won't get it either."[9]

Coaching

Telfer was head coach to the British and Irish Lions on their tour of New Zealand in 1983. He was assistant coach, with particular responsibility for the forwards, on the 1997 British Lions tour to South Africa, where made his well-known motivational 'Everest' speech to the forwards before the 1st Test.[10][11][12]

Telfer coached Scotland to the Grand Slam in 1984 and, as assistant to Sir Ian McGeechan, to his second Grand Slam in 1990. In his second term as head coach from 1998–1999, Scotland won the final Five Nations Championship.

In 2014 he was coaching the Melrose RFC Under-18 team - Melrose Wasps.[13]

Philosophy and approach

Telfer focuses on the 'honesty' of players in their playing, and is open about copying some New Zealand approaches to the game.[14]

Coaching statistics

Scotland (1981–1984)

International matches as Head Coach

Record by country

Opponent Played Won Drew Lost Win ratio (%) For Against
 Australia 4 2 0 2 050 57 92
 England 4 2 1 1 050 66 50
 France 4 2 0 2 050 61 54
 Ireland 4 2 0 2 050 67 54
 New Zealand 3 0 1 2 000 44 76
 Romania 2 1 0 1 050 34 34
 Wales 4 3 0 1 075 79 52
TOTAL 25 12 2 11 048 408 412

Scotland (1993–1999)

International matches as Head Coach

Record by country

Opponent Played Won Drew Lost Win ratio (%) For Against
 Argentina 3 0 0 3 000 54 64
 Australia 4 0 0 4 000 41 144
 Canada 1 1 0 0 100 22 6
 England 6 0 0 6 000 89 156
 Fiji 1 0 0 1 000 26 51
 France 7 3 0 4 043 126 197
 Ireland 6 5 1 0 083 133 68
 Italy 3 2 0 1 067 80 59
 Ivory Coast 1 1 0 0 100 89 0
 New Zealand 5 0 0 5 000 106 227
 Romania 2 2 0 0 100 109 35
 Samoa 2 1 1 0 050 50 35
 South Africa 4 0 0 4 000 59 183
 Spain 1 1 0 0 100 48 0
 Tonga 1 1 0 0 100 41 5
 Uruguay 1 1 0 0 100 43 12
 Wales 6 3 0 3 050 113 129
TOTAL 54 23 2 29 043 1229 1371

Honours

As a player

As a coach

References

  1. ^ [www.lionsrugby.com]
  2. ^ "Rugby Positions: No 8s: Jim Telfer". Rugby World. 17 August 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  3. ^ Downie, John (6 January 1964). "Scots open season with victory". The Glasgow Herald. p. 15. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  4. ^ McMurtrie, Bill (2 March 1970). "Scottish revival not enough to atone for earlier blunders". The Glasgow Herald. p. 5. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Massie, p189
  6. ^ "Player archive: Jim Teller". British and Irish Lions. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Player archive: Jim Teller". British and Irish Lions. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  8. ^ "Player Archive - J. W. Telfer". Barbarians FC. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  9. ^ Massie, p190
  10. ^ [www.bbc.co.uk]
  11. ^ [www.lionsrugby.com]
  12. ^ [www.the42.ie]
  13. ^ [www.bbc.co.uk]
  14. ^ [www.bbc.co.uk]

Sources

  • Bath, Richard (ed.) The Complete Book of Rugby (Seven Oaks Ltd, 1997 ISBN 1-86200-013-1)
  • Massie, Allan A Portrait of Scottish Rugby (Polygon, Edinburgh; ISBN 0-904919-84-6)
  • Telfer, Jim Jim Telfer: Looking Back... For Once (Mainstream Publishing, 2005, ISBN 1-84596-062-9)

External links

Preceded by
Nairn McEwan
Scotland national rugby union team coach
1980–1984
Succeeded by
Colin Telfer
Preceded by
Noel Murphy
British And Irish Lions manager
1983
Succeeded by
Ian McGeechan
Preceded by
Ian McGeechan
Scotland national rugby union team coach
1993–1999
Succeeded by
Ian McGeechan
Preceded by
Ian McGeechan
British And Irish Lions manager
1997
Succeeded by
New Zealand Graham Henry