Herbert Waddell

NameHerbert Waddell
Nationality United Kingdom (GB)


Waddell became a keen rugby player whilst a schoolboy and captained the Fettes College team. On leaving education he joined Glasgow Academicals, a team he would represent throughout his international career. Waddell first represented Scotland in the opening game of the1924 Five Nations Championship, played against France. Although Scotland lost, Waddell scored his first international in the game with a dropped goal, and was reselected for the rest of the tournament. During the 1924 Championship, Waddell scored a try in a humiliating win over Wales, and a pair of tries in a home victory over Ireland. Although the tournament ended in a poor loss to the eventual champions, England, it turned into a good year for Waddell, with an invitation to tour with the Barbarains immediately after the England game;and then selected to represent the British Isles on their tour of South Africa.

The South African tour turned into a difficult and injury prone affair, with the British losing three of the four tests. Waddell played in all three loses, missing the Third Test, a draw at Port Elizabeth, when he was replaced by Bill Cunningham. On his return to Britain, Waddell was back in the Scotland team for the 1925 Championship, which saw Scotland win all four matches and take their first Grand Slam. Waddell played in two of the wins, away to Ireland at Lansdowne Road and the first International at Murrayfield, a narrow victory over England. Waddell scored a dropped goal in both matches. Waddell played for Scotland a further nine times, bringing his total caps for his country to 15. His final game was during the 1930 Five Nations Championship, having missed the 1928 and 1929 tournaments due to an ulcer and then a shoulder injury.

In 1926, Waddell was elected to the Committee of the Barbarians, a rarity for a member who was still a player. In 1956 he was elected Vice-President, and in 1974 succeeded Brigadier Glyn Hughes as President.

This era is regarded as the most successful in the history of the Club and in the five seasons they played 123 matches, losing 10, two to Oxford University, two to Cambridge University and only six to Scottish opposition. They scored in these matches 3026 points and had only 522 registered against them. In 1925-1926 season it was not defeated by any Scottish Club. Great players of this era included Herbert Waddell, J.B. Nelson, J.C. Dykes, J.M. Simmers, R.C. Warren, M.A. Allan and J.B.White who was the successful captain. The four outstanding backs, Nelson, Waddell, Simmers and Dykes, were all outstanding Scottish international, and the Waddell-Nelson half back pairing was the fear of all Scottish club and international opponents. Herbert Waddell went on to be a highly respected President of the Barbarians and on his death the Barbarians honoured him with a match at New Anniesland when they fielded a strong team of international players.

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