Ross Ford: New Edinburgh deal for Scotland hooker

Ross Ford in action against Italy
Ford won his 97th Scotland cap against Italy on Saturday

Scotland hooker Ross Ford has signed a new three-year contract extension at Edinburgh, keeping him at the Pro12 club until May 2019.

The 31-year-old has been with Edinburgh since 2007 and has featured in 152 matches.

Scotland's most-capped forward, Kelso-born Ford made his 97th international appearance in the 36-20 Six Nations win over Italy on Saturday.

Edinburgh also announced new deals for props Allan Dell and Simon Berghan.

Loose-head Dell, 23, has committed for another two years and tight-head Berghan, 25, has agreed terms for next season.

Both qualify for Scotland via a grandparent.

Ford, who along with Edinburgh team-mates WP Nel and Alasdair Dickinson is established in Scotland's first choice front row, says the influence of head coach Alan Solomons, who joined the club in 2013, was significant in keeping him in the capital.

"It was really how the club was going and where we've come from since Alan came in," Ford told BBC Scotland.

"There was a lot of rebuilding done, in terms of the way we played. But we had a good run in the European Challenge Cup last year [Edinburgh reached the final] and we're positioned well in the league just now [fifth, four points off the play-off places].

Ross Ford (centre) joins Simon Berghan (left) and Allan Dell in extending his contract with Edinburgh
Ford (centre) is helping bring through the likes of fellow front-rowers Berghan (left) and Dell (right)

"We're seeing that work coming to fruition with the young boys in the squad coming through. I believe we've got a chance to win trophies with this team going forward and I want to be part of that."

Ford will be 34 at the end of his new deal, but does not necessarily view it as his last.

"I feel good just now; I'm fit, I'm playing well so I'm quite happy," he added. "Come the end of the contract we'll see how I'm feeling at that point and take it from there, but I'm happy with how it's going ."

Ford's Edinburgh team-mate Stuart McInally, 25, replaced him for the final 16 minutes of Scotland's Six Nations victory against Italy in Rome, while a third Edinburgh hooker - 23-year-old George Turner - was also involved in Scotland's wider training squad.

"It helps me play better having that pressure to perform well with the younger boys coming through," he added.

"If I can help them get better, it helps us as a group going forward to keep the standards high."

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