Six Nations: Ross Ford handed Scotland captaincy

Ross Ford will captain Scotland for the Six Nations campaign.

The 27-year-old Edinburgh hooker started all four of Scotland's games at last year's World Cup in New Zealand.

Head coach Andy Robinson revealed that his original intention had been to give the captaincy duty to back-row forward Kelly Brown.

However, Brown was injured playing for Saracens in the Heineken Cup at the weekend and will not be available for the tournament.

Ford made his first international appearance against Australia in 2004 and won his 53rd cap against England in the World Cup loss in Auckland.

England are once again the opponents when Scotland begin their Six Nations tilt at Murrayfield on 4 February.

"This is a special day for Ross, who has been a key figure in our leadership group and our most consistent performer for some time," said Robinson.

"I firmly believe he is the man who will step up and lead from the front.

"That said, I'm really disappointed for Kelly Brown.

"I had asked him to be the captain late last week but unfortunately injury will deprive him of that honour and the chance to lead out his country for his 50th cap."

On Brown's leg injury, team doctor James Robson said: "Following the scans that Kelly underwent yesterday and consultation with a knee specialist, Kelly will require a small operation to stabilise the fibula head in his leg - which he dislocated. The surgery will facilitate his recovery.

"This will be undertaken in the next seven to ten days once the initial swelling has settled. The return from an injury of this nature is, typically, in the region of eight to ten weeks."

Ford becomes the 112th man to skipper Scotland, taking over from Glasgow lock Al Kellock, who led the team in last year's Six Nations and at the World Cup.

Scrum-half Rory Lawson stood in for Kellock for two games in New Zealand but Robinson has plumped for a man who has nailed down a starting berth in the side.

"It's a massive honour and privilege to captain your country," said Ford.

"I'm really grateful to be given this chance to captain a team of so much potential.

"For me, the big thing is leading from the front and actually showing a good example to the boys as well as backing it up with words.

"First and foremost is 'do it', do it for everybody to see, and that's the way I'll be looking to lead the team against England."

Meanwhile, uncapped Glasgow prop Jon Welsh has been called into Robinson's training squad to provide cover for Alasdair Dickinson and Ed Kalman, who are carrying knocks.

Kalman was drafted in when injury ruled Moray Low out of the Six Nations.

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