Edinburgh-born Scotland and British Lions rugby player Ken Scotland passes away aged 86

Former Scotland and British and Irish Lions full-back Ken Scotland has died at the age of 86, the Scottish Rugby Union has confirmed.

Scotland, who also represented his country at cricket, made his international rugby union debut in the 1957 Five Nations Championship against France.

He went on to make 27 appearances over the next eight years, and also played for Leicester Tigers, who named him in their 'Team of the Century' in 1999.

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Scottish Rugby said it was "immensely saddened" by Scotland's death, describing him as "a player ahead of his time, a true trailblazer."

Ken Scotland has sadly passed away at the age of 86. He is pictured (top left) receiving the trophy on behalf of the Cambridge University invitation side at the Melrose Sevens in 1960, kicking the ball down the line against Ireland at Murrayfield in the 1960s (top right), looking through his archives in 2019 (bottom right) and pictured by Neil Hanna in 2006 (bottom left).

Scotland great Andy Irvine added: "Ken was undoubtedly one of the greatest players ever to grace the rugby field and was one of the nicest chaps you could ever meet."

l Kevin Sinfield will continue to challenge Steve Borthwick if he believes it will assist England’s climb out of the doldrums.

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Sinfield will serve as Borthwick’s number two after the coaching brains trust that took the 2022 Gallagher Premiership title to Leicester was given the task of reversing the decline overseen by Eddie Jones.

While Jones’ management style was autocratic, England’s new head coach will encourage his most trusted lieutenant to speak his mind.

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“My job is not to sit here and say ‘yes’ and nod my head. My job is to ensure that the team is in the best possible place,” said the rugby league great, who will oversee the defence. “If that means I ask a question for the betterment of the team, Steve’s firmly behind that and wants me to do it.

"He’s openly asked me to challenge him. I do that respectfully.”

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Sinfield, the former Leeds, England and Great Britain captain, is only 18 months into a union coaching career that now spans two roles and during which he has only worked under Borthwick.

And, while he is still making adjustments following the change in codes, he has been given the room to develop by Borthwick.

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“Steve is a very trusting guy and I am too, but my gut feel at the start was that he was a guy who I really wanted to do my best for,” the 42-year-old said. “I felt like he would support me when things got tough.

"Which is when you really need people.

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"I felt like that, with him, I had that right from the start.”