Tremayne Rodd

Scottish rugby international

Saturday 23 December 2006 01:00
Comments

John Adrian Tremayne Rodd, rugby player: born 28 June 1935; capped 14 times for Scotland 1958-65; succeeded 1978 as third Baron Rennell; married 1977 Phyllis Neill (one son, three daughters); died London 9 December 2006.

The strong competitive streak that ran through Tremayne Rodd was not confined to the rugby field, on which he won 14 caps for Scotland and played for the Barbarians. The future Lord Rennell was equally combative around the backgammon table and on the golf course.

First capped for Scotland in the 11-9 win over France at Murrayfield in 1958, he had an international career that stretched over seven years as he kept battling his way back into the side. An ever-present in the five Tests played in 1958 - he was on the winning side against Australia and in the team that drew with England in the Calcutta Cup match in Edinburgh - he missed the 1959 campaign and played in the opening two defeats in the 1960 championship.

He was missing for the 1960/61 season and played in the opening game of the 1962 championship against France. Stan Coughtrie overtook him again in 1963 before he returned triumphantly the next season. After playing in the opening success over the French at Murrayfield he helped Scotland draw 0-0 with the touring All Blacks. He then lost his place again, this time to Alex Hastie, after a narrow defeat in Cardiff to Wales. There were three more appearances in 1965, all of which were on losing sides, before his Test career came to an end. By then he was 30, but a long way off from hanging up his boots.

In fact, his last-known appearance on a rugby field was in 1993, at the ripe old age of 58, when he appeared for a House of Lords and Commonwealth Officers XV against a South African President's XV in Cape Town.

"Tremayne was fiercely competitive and always liked to keep himself in shape. He was a very good scrum half when I played with him for London Scottish and Scotland who had a quick pass and a lightning break," recalled Iain Laughland, the former Scottish Rugby Union President:

He was a great character to have in your side and always raised a smile. I remember going to see him play for a House of Lords team against a Scottish Bankers XV on the morning of an international in Edinburgh. He was well into his fifties at the time and came over to me just before kick-off and asked me to look after his false teeth. I eventually put them in a plastic bag and left them at the corner flag.

Rodd learned his rugby at Downside and Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, before following his father, Commander Gustaf Rodd, into the Navy. He played for the Navy and United Services while serving and was in the Combined Services XV that met the Wallabies in 1957 and the Springboks in 1961. In 1958 he was home fleet boxing champion.

"When he left the Navy he went into investment banking at Morgan Grenfell, but simply hated it. His uncle was the chairman and I told him to stick with it, but he quit after nine months," Laughland said. "In the end he became the director of a sports trophies company in King's Cross."

A strong golfer who used to play against Sam Torrance at Sunningdale, Rodd was an expert backgammon player who competed at the world championships. One Christmas, before he succeeded his uncle as third Baron Rennell in 1978, he set up a table in a window at Selfridges in London where he challenged all-comers to play him.

He met his wife, Phyllis Neill, in a queue at an airport as he was returning from Italy after his father's funeral. He allegedly asked her to hold a bag for him while he went to the lavatory. The bag contained the urn in which his late father's ashes had been placed.

Rob Cole

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in