13 February 2023
From The Vaults
Scotland v Wales, 1901
Triple-Triple Crown winner, hardest man ever to play for Scotland, horse-wrestling captain of the British Lions, heavyweight boxing champion, pioneer of the wing-forward role, jackaroo and surgeon in the Royal Navy. David Bedell Sivright was a man of many parts, and most of those parts relished physical confrontation. Many stories attach themselves to Bedell Sivright, and fact may be hard to distinguish from fiction, but he was unquestionably one of the outstanding players of his day. He remains the only person to have won three Triple Crowns with Scotland. He captained both his national side and the British Lions, with whom he toured twice.
1904 British and Irish Lions whom Bedell-Sivright (centre middle-row) captained
Legend states that, following an international match, Bedell Sivright held up the Edinburgh traffic while he wrestled with a cart horse, with the police not daring to intervene. It is certainly true that he ordered his Lions team to leave the field for 20 minutes while he disputed the referee's decision to send off one of his players. Bedell Sivright was serving in the Dardanelles campaign when, like war poet and fellow rugby player Rupert Brooke, he contracted septicaemia from an insect bite. He died on 5 September 1915.