A fourth-place finish in 1991 represents Scotland’s finest hour in the Rugby World Cup, the only time the side have ever made it past the last eight.
However, in Gavin Hastings Scotland do have one of the World Cup’s all-time greatest players. The full-back, who appeared in three World Cups from 1987 to 1995, is second behind Jonny Wilkinson on the all-time points list, and is also the tournament’s most prolific player in converting tries, with a tally of 39.
Scotland’s showing at the inaugural World Cup in 1987 was notable largely for their being involved in the tournament’s first ever drawn match, a pool match with France which ended 20-20. That remained the only drawn game in World Cup history for twenty years until Canada and Japan drew 12-12 in 2007.
Playing on home turf in 1991 the Scots raced through the tournament, meeting England in the semis. In front of a packed Murrayfield, two Hastings penalties gave Scotland an early lead, before England slowly pegged them back, eventually triumphing 9-6 thanks to a late Rob Andrew drop-goal; Hastings also missed an easy penalty in front of the posts. Scotland then lost the third/fourth play-off to the All Blacks.
In 1995 and 1999 Scotland fell foul of New Zealand at the quarter-final stage, and in 2003 it was Australia’s turn, beating the Scots 33-16 despite a battling first-half performance in which the Wallabies were held 9-9 at the break.
Scotland 30-man squad for the 2011 World Cup:
Backs: Joe Ansbro (London Irish), Mike Blair (Edinburgh), Chris Cusiter (Glasgow Warriors), Simon Danielli (Ulster), Nick De Luca (Edinburgh), Max Evans (Castres), Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), Rory Lamont (Toulon), Sean Lamont (Scarlets), Rory Lawson (Gloucester), Graeme Morrison (Glasgow Warriors), Dan Parks (Cardiff Blues), Chris Paterson (Edinburgh)
Forwards: John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), Kelly Brown (Saracens), Geoff Cross (Edinburgh), Alasdair Dickinson (Sale Sharks), Ross Ford (Edinburgh), Richie Gray, Dougie Hall (both Glasgow Warriors), Jim Hamilton (Gloucester), Nathan Hines (Clermont Auvergne), Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh), Alastair Kellock (capt, Glasgow Warriors), Scott Lawson (Gloucester), Moray Low (Glasgow Warriors), Euan Murray (Newcastle Falcons), Ross Rennie (Edinburgh), Alasdair Strokosch (Gloucester), Richie Vernon (Sale Sharks)
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