John Young Rutherford (born 4 October 1955), nicknamed Rud or Ruddie, is a former Scottish rugby union footballer who gained 42 caps at fly-half between 1979 and 1987. He played for Selkirk RFC and The South, and was chosen to tour with the British Lions in 1983, being picked to play in the test team at inside centre.
Richard Bath writes of him that:
"Outside Wales, perhaps only the Irish pair of Tony Ward and Ollie Campbell were able to hold a candle to fly-half John Rutherford, the man who dominated Scottish back play for most of the 1980s... Deceptively quick and a natural athlete, he was able to boot the ball prodigious distances or beat a man one-on-one, seemingly at will. Allied to a keen rugby intellect, Rutherford was Scotland's star turn throughout the 1980s."
He was a major figure in Scotland's 1984 Grand Slam.
His final game for Scotland was their first match in the 1987 World Cup against France, when he sustained a knee injury in the early minutes. He partnered scrum-halfRoy Laidlaw in 35 tests, at the time the record for any international half-back pairing.
Richard Bath writes of this partnership that:
"every country has, at some stage, a double-act which sees two players through sheer longevity, become mentioned in the same breath... One of the most enduring partnerships was that of Jed-Forest's Roy Laidlaw and Selkirk's John Rutherford. For nigh on a decade, the two were immovable at half-back for Scotland. Unlike most of the other famous pairings, however, it was Laidlaw and Rutherford's differences rather than their similarities, that melded them into an outstanding partnership. On the one hand, there was the peerless Rutherford, all grace and poise, who could glide through tackles and drill a ball onto a sixpence in the opposition's 22. On the other, there was Laidlaw, a gutsy fighter in the classic Borders mould. The pair played together on 35 occasions, a world record for a half-back partnership."