Finlay Calder

Finlay Calder OBE (born 20 August 1957) is a Scottish former rugby union player.

Finlay Calder
Date of birth (1957-08-20) 20 August 1957
Place of birthHaddington, Scotland
SchoolStewart's Melville College
Notable relative(s)Jim Calder (brother)
Lewis Calder (nephew)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Flanker
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
- Stewart's Melville FP
Heriots FP
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
British Lions

Calder played at open side flanker and won 34 caps representing Scotland from 1986-91. He captained the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia in 1989.

Early life

Born in Haddington, East Lothian[1] and educated at Stewart's Melville College,

International career

His international debut was against France in 1986. His last international game was against New Zealand in the third-place play-off match in the 1991 Rugby World Cup.

Richard Bath wrote that

"Calder's ability to use his drive, determination and innate knowledge of the game to overcome his undoubted shortcomings - in particular he was always a bit slow for an out-and-out open-side - helped him become one of the most effective back-row operators of the modern era. If he and the other two members of the Grand Slam back row John Jeffrey and Derek White could not impose their own game, they certainly would make sure that the opposition could not impose theirs".[2]

In 1989 Calder captained the Lions, the first Scottish player selected to do this since Mike Campbell-Lamerton in 1966 and the first captain to lead the side to victory since Willie John McBride in 1974.[3]


Calder was appointed OBE in the 1990 New Year Honours.[4]


His twin brother Jim Calder also played for Scotland and the Lions.[2] The brothers never played in the same Scotland side; Jim won the last of his caps against Wales in March 1985 and Finlay made his debut against France in January 1986.

He has two children.


  1. "Rugby: Player profile: Finlay Calder, Scotland". ESPN. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  2. Bath, Richard (ed.) (1997). The Complete Book of Rugby. Seven Oaks Ltd. pp. 127–8. ISBN 1-86200-013-1.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  3. "Finlay Calder". The Scotsman. 2 May 2002. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  4. "Lions captain rewarded". The Herald. 30 December 1989. p. 9. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
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