Jim Telfer

Jim Telfer
  • Jim Telfer

  • Jim Telfer is one of the greats of international rugby, with a career spanning more than five decades. Looking Back . . . For Once reveals how a shepherd's son from the Borders became the major driving force in the most successful days of Scottish rugby and steered the game into the professional era.

    The former captain and coach of Scotland and coach of the British and Irish Lions now sets the record straight on the controversies that raged during his career. What made him lambast New Zealand rugby in its Canterbury heartland? Why did he not select his 'best-ever Scottish forward' for a Lions tour? And, in his opinion, what was the best Scotland team?

    Telfer has intriguing views on the current state of the game, but this is more than a rugby book. He expresses his sadness at the prospect of life without children and his subsequent delight in adopting, and reveals how his teaching career was blighted by tragedy in Glasgow but invigorated by a long-haired eccentric.

    With personal contributions from Martin Johnson, Colin Meads, Andy Irvine and Gregor Townsend, among many others, Telfer clearly remains one of the most widely respected men in world rugby. This is his story.

Jim Telfer has been a mainstay of Scottish rugby since the early 1960s. In the '90s, he took over as the Scottish Rugby Union's first full-time director of rugby. A third Grand Slam and a Five Nations win book-ended that decade, and he retired from the game at the end of 2003. David Ferguson is the chief rugby writer with The Scotsman. He has reported on rugby across Scotland and abroad for the past 16 years, covering several World Cup tournaments and British and Irish Lions tours.