Jim Greenwood (rugby union)

Jim Greenwood (rugby union)

Jim Greenwood
Full name James Thomson Greenwood
Date of birth (1929-12-02)2 December 1929
Place of birth Dunfermline, Scotland
Date of death 13 September 2010(2010-09-13) (aged 80)
Place of death Dumfries, Scotland
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Number 8/Flanker
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
Dunfermline RFC
Perthshire Academicals
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
British Lions

James "Jim" Thomson Greenwood (2 December 1929 – 13 September 2010)[1] was a Scottish international rugby union player. He was capped twenty times for Scotland[1] he played on the 1955 Lions[2] and was also invited to represent the Barbarians. He played 18 games for the Barbarians between 1955 and 1958, the last being on 28 May 1958 at the RFUEA Ground, Nairobi, versus East Africa;[3] a ground that he had previously visited whilst on tour with the Lions, though on that occasion he had not been selected to play.[4]

He also played for Dunfermline RFC and the North-Midlands rugby union team.[2][5] After touring with the British Lions, he played for Perthshire Academicals.[6]

His first international was in 1952 against France, but he was dropped shortly afterwards.[7] However, he played well in the District matches and trials of 1954, leading to his re-instatement on the national team.[7] He became Scottish captain, but after losing 15–0 to France, he lost that position to Angus Cameron, while keeping his place on the team.[7] In the next season, he became captain once more, and led the side for three more years.[7] Allan Massie says of him that:

"He was not a devastating tackler like Douglas Elliot or Ron Glasgow, though he was a very safe one. His first quality was his mobility; he was an example to young back-row players in the way he kept close to the ball and in his anticipation of the run of play. It brought him one notable Test try in South Africa when he gathered a cross-kick to surge over the line. He was one of the last forwards to be a notably good dribbler of the ball."[6]

He played mostly at No 8, but Massie believes that he would have made a better flanker,[2] a position at which he was capped four times by the British Lions against South Africa during the 1955 British Lions tour to South Africa. Massie has compared both his play and his look to Jean-Pierre Rives.[7] Bill McLaren says Greenwood was an advocate of fifteen man "total rugby", i.e. the whole team playing as a unit, and capable of both back and forward play.[8]

Greenwood was a teacher by profession, and taught at Glenalmond College.[2] and Tiffin Boys School. He also lectured at Loughborough University. He died aged 80 in 2010.


  • Jones, J.R. Encyclopedia of Rugby Union Football (Robert Hale, London, 1976 ISBN 0-7091-5394-5)
  • Massie, Allan A Portrait of Scottish Rugby (Polygon, Edinburgh; ISBN 0-904919-84-6)
  • Campbell, M; Cohen, E.J. (1960). Rugby Football in East Africa 1909–1959. Rugby Football Union of East Africa. 


  1. ^ a b Jim Greenwood rugby profile ESPNScrum.com
  2. ^ a b c d Massie, p183
  3. ^ "Player Archive - J. T. Greenwood".  
  4. ^ Cambell and Cohen, p23
  5. ^ Jones, p34
  6. ^ a b Massie, p184
  7. ^ a b c d e Massie, p185
  8. ^ McLaren, p150