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My preparations
Around the Academy:

Bill McLaren does his homework before a big match
Bill does plenty of research before a match

Bill McLaren

It's fair to say I'm renowned for the amount of homework I do!

I like to start on the Sunday leading up to the game and I research the background details of the game.

When the teams are announced, I list all the players' numbers, their ages, international caps, height, weight, as much information as I can find out.

I then use this information for the matches.

The most important and helpful aspect of my preparation is the use of "playing cards".

I make my own cards which are numbered from one to 15.

During the week before the game, I shuffle the cards and turn them over, trying to put the names of the players to the numbers.

I get irritated at the beginning of the week because I'm a bit slow at picking up the names.

But come Thursday or Friday, I'm picking up the names as fast as I have to when the ball is being passed around on the pitch.

The early years
My preparations
The odd mistake

Worst things about being a commentator
Going away from home for a great length of time
Getting annoyed when I make a mistake or two in the commentaries

Did you know?
The press gallery at Murrayfield - Scotland's national rugby stadium - has been re-named the Bill McLaren Press Gallery because of his oustanding work as a commentator

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