Rugby: Scots challenged to deliver

Scotland coach Andy Robinson confirmed Ross Ford as his captain for the RBS 6 Nations and then declared: "It's time for us to deliver".

Rugby News: England vs Scotland

Robinson turned to Ford after it was confirmed that his first choice skipper, the Saracens flanker Kelly Brown, requires knee surgery that will keep him out of the championship.

Scotland open their campaign against England at Murrayfield on February 4 - a rematch of the decisive World Cup pool encounter three months ago.

On that occasion, England dashed Scottish hopes of a quarter-final place with a last-gasp Chris Ashton try.

Robinson has been praised for the strides Scotland have taken during his reign - but the bald statistics show just two Six Nations victories in 10 matches.

And the former England coach is sick of talking about what might have been and what might be for his Scotland side.

"It's time for us to deliver," Robinson said.

"We've had a lot of talk about what we can do, our potential, but we haven't actually delivered results in the Six Nations in the last two years.

"So a big aim for us is to start well and this first game is a key area for us to get our first win."

Robinson had asked Brown to captain Scotland before he suffered a dislocated knee during Saracens' Heineken Cup victory over Treviso on Sunday.

Once the swelling has subsided, Brown will undergo an operation that is expected to keep him out of action for between eight and 10 weeks.

"I am really disappointed for Kelly Brown," Robinson said.

"I had asked him to be the captain late last week but unfortunately injury will deprive him of that honour.

"Rugby is a tough game to play and you pick up a number of injuries so for us it's being able to develop leaders.

"Ross is an outstanding character and an outstanding player and his next step is really becoming a captain and becoming a leader and being able to lead from the front.

"I'm really looking forward to him doing that and he will do it in his way.

"He'll do it as Ross Ford and he's captained Edinburgh a couple of times and led them very well and the team has played well under his leadership. So I'm excited about seeing how he goes about his business."

Ford, who has won 53 caps for Scotland and toured with the 2009 British and Irish Lions, will become his country's 112th captain.

"It's a massive honour and privilege to captain your country. I'm really grateful to be given this chance to captain a team of so much potential," Ford said.

"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."

Robinson confirmed that London Irish fly-half Steven Shingler, who is at the centre of an international tug-of-war between Wales and Scotland, met up with the squad at their St Andrews base on Monday.

Wales challenged Shingler's Scotland call-up on the basis that he had committed his international future to them by playing in an Under-20 international.

"He met up with the squad yesterday [Monday], he's been released back to London Irish," Robinson said.

"That was just to give him a chance to meet the players. We are backing an appeal to the IRB that we believe that he is qualified to play for Scotland and that's the way it stands at the moment."

In addition to Brown, five other players did not train with the Scotland squad at St Andrews on Tuesday - props Alasdair Dickinson (shoulder) and Ed Kalman (calf), loose forward David Denton and stand-off Ruaridh Jackson (hamstring) and full-back/wing Rory Lamont (leg bruising).

Jon Welsh, the uncapped 25-year-old Glasgow Warriors prop, has been added to the Scotland squad.



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