Gary Armstrong (born 30 September, 1966 in Edinburgh) is a former Scottish rugby union player who played . He played for Jed-Forest RFC, Newcastle Falcons, The Borders and represented Scotland and the British Lions.
Gary equalled Roy Laidlaw’s then record as Scotland’s most capped scrum-half when he won his 47th cap against Romania in August 1999. He then joined the 50-cap club when he led Scotland to victory in the World Cup play-off match against Samoa that October.
He was skipper throughout the previous two Five Nations Championships and was also captain on Scotland’s 1999 visit to South Africa, when he played in all four matches and scored the opening try of the tour in the victory over Border.
Twice, in 1992 and 1994, he suffered serious knee damage and it spoke volumes for his tenacity and courage that he returned to the top flight. He had succeeded a fellow Lion and Scotland cap, Roy Laidlaw, as scrum half at Jed-Forest.
Gary Armstrong then went on to emulate Laidlaw by playing for both Scotland and the Lions, touring with the latter in Australia in 1989.
He joined Newcastle Falcons in 1995, and his appetite for the fray was seen to best advantage when the club won England’s Allied Dunbar Premiership title in 1998. Many supporters believe Armstrong to be the best player in the club's history.
Gary finished his career by returning home to play for the newly created professional team, The Borders. He retired in 2004 at about the same time as Doddie Weir. An interesting sidenote: In Jonny Wilkinson's book 'How to Play Rugby My Way' Armstrong's nickname is given as the 'scrap-yard dog' as Jonny has never met anyone as 'tough as him!'
International career: 51 caps. 1988 - A. 1989 - W E I F Fj R. 1990 - I F W E NZ1 NZ2 Arg. 1991 - F W E I R (WC) J I WS E NZ. 1993 - I F W E. 1994 - E I. 1996 - NZ1 NZ2 A. 1997 - W SA (rep). 1998 - It I F W E SA (rep). 1999 - W E I F Arg R WC (SA U Sam NZ).
Points: 21 - 5 tries.
(Rewritten from the SRU website - used with permission)
CLASHING SYMBOLS OF A MATURE WORK-ETHIC; as Glasgow and Borders Go Head-to-Head at Netherdale, GRANT ROBBINS Speaks to Rival Scrum-Halves and Skippers, Andy Nicol and Gary Armstrong
Oct 04, 2002; Byline: GRANT ROBINS IT'S hard to believe that Andy Nicol would ever have to reinvent himself. But word from the Glasgow camp...