Alastair McHarg

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Alastair Ferguson McHarg
Full name Alastair Ferguson McHarg
Date of birth (1944-06-17) 17 June 1944 (age 72)
Place of birth Irvine, Scotland
Height 6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Weight 15 st (210 lb; 95 kg)
School Irvine Royal Academy
Notable relative(s) John McHarg (brother)
Spouse Christine McHarg
Children Five
Occupation(s) Director of Rugby, Reading (since 2005)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Lock
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Correct as of 13 December 2016
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1968-79 Scotland 44 ()
Correct as of 15 November 2009

Alastair Ferguson McHarg (born June 17, 1944 in Irvine, Scotland) was a lock (second row forward) for the Scotland national rugby union team, 1968-79.[1] McHarg won 44 caps for Scotland [1] and also frequently partnered Gordon Brown in the Scottish second row.[1]

Like Ian McLauchlan and Gordon Brown who were his contemporaries, McHarg was an Ayrshire man.[2]

Richard Bath writes of him that:

"At just over 15 stone and just 6ft. 4in., Alastair McHarg was hardly the identikit second row forward, even in the days when they didn't exactly breed 'em huge... A tough and notoriously abrasive Glaswegian, McHarg once joked that his entire playing career was shrouded 'in red mist'. McHarg though, fails to do himself justice with that remark... His speed around the park was perfectly suited to the mobile rucking game played by the Scots, whilst his timing and nous made him a safe bet at the line-out and one of the best number two jumpers of his generation."[1]

Allan Massie says,

"He was probably the best line-out player Scotland have had. He timed his jump beautifully and could out-leap most of his contemporaries." - but was never selected for Lions.[3]

Massie also valued his entertainment value as much as his skill.

"[o]f the famous Scottish front five of the early Seventies, Alastair McHarg was the card, the character, the most unorthodox, the greatest fun to watch. He was tall and rangy, a buoyant athlete, a little on the light side for a modern lock... His value in the broken play was incalculable."[3]

Despite his skills, there were those who thought that McHarg would have been better as a Number 8.[3]

McHarg played for Irvine since his local club's formation in 1962, before going on to play for West of Scotland and London Scottish.[1][2] McHarg has been the Director of Rugby at Reading since 2005.[4] McHarg also played for the Anglo-Scots between 1982-3.

Despite being capped 44 times for Scotland, McHarg was never selected for the British Lions.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Bath, p147
  2. ^ a b Massie, p182
  3. ^ a b c Massie, p180
  4. ^ Reading RFC

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