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Last Updated: Monday, 1 October 2007, 16:44 GMT 17:44 UK
Rugby pays tribute to Bruce Hay
Bruce Hay
Hay was respected throughout the game at club and international level
Scotland coach Frank Hadden has led tributes to former Scotland and British Lions full-back Bruce Hay, who has died aged 57.

Bruce, who played 23 internationals for Scotland between 1975 and 1982, had been suffering from a brain tumour.

"Bruce's contribution to Scottish rugby has been simply immense. It's terribly sad," Hadden said.

The former Boroughmuir and Liberton player made his Scotland debut against New Zealand in 1975.

Hay, who also coached Scotland U-19s, was well respected throughout the game.

He was born on 23 May 1950 in Edinburgh and was educated at Liberton High School before embarking on a career as a mining engineer and, latterly, as a sales representative.

If there was a more popular man in the game, then I have yet to meet him

Scotland coach
Frank Hadden

His played his early rugby with the Liberton club before joining Boroughmuir in 1972.

The full-back won 23 caps, making his debut at full-back at Eden Park.

Hay was selected for the British and Irish Lions tours to New Zealand and South Africa in 1977 and 1980.

He made his final international appearance against the All Blacks in 1982.

In May, his two former clubs staged a charity match at Kirkbrae Park with all the proceeds going to the Western General's neurology unit, where Hay underwent treatment.

All but one of Bruce's internationals and his three Tests for the Lions were played alongside his close friend and rival, Andy Irvine.

Irvine said: "If he'd been playing today, he would have won 50/60 caps.

Bruce Hay in action against New Zealand
Hay starred for Scotland, the British Lions and the Barbarians

"For seven years he was involved in every game - playing or on the bench.

"He came from an unfashionable club. He went on to play senior rugby with Boroughmuir, but he always held on to his Liberton roots."

Scotland's rugby World Cup squad took time out of their preparations for Sunday's quarter-final against Argentina in Paris to pay tribute.

Hadden said: "My personal dealings with him started when he was manager with Scotland under-19 and he brought a tremendous enthusiasm, commitment and ability - just as he had showed as a player - to that role.

"If there was a more popular man in the game then I have yet to meet him."

Scotland captain Jason White described Hay as "a genuine guy" who was well-respected throughout rugby.

"On behalf of all the players, I extend our sympathies to his family and friends," White added.

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