Kelly Brown to skipper Scotland
October 31, 2012
Kelly Brown will skipper Scotland © PA Photos
Scotland have named Saracens flanker Kelly Brown as captain for their Test with New Zealand on November 11.
The back-rower succeeds Edinburgh hooker Ross Ford as skipper after he led Scotland through the 2012 Six Nations and on their tour of the southern hemisphere in June. Brown was in line for the role before a broken ankle forced him to miss this year's Six Nations but he will now become Scotland's fifth captain in two years.
Scotland coach Andy Robinson paid tribute to Brown saying: "Kelly Brown is an inspirational person. He has an aura, confidence and belief about him and a firm understanding of the game.
"He has been a very consistent performer for Scotland. It's because of these qualities that he has been appointed Scotland captain."
Robinson also praised Ford, who is in line to win his 62nd cap a week on Sunday. He said: "I would like to congratulate Ross Ford in the way he has handled himself as captain of the side but also in respect of Kelly taking over."
Brown's most recent Test appearance was in the Rugby World Cup defeat to Argentina in September 2011 which contributed to Scotland's pool stage exit for the first time. Scrum-half Rory Lawson was captain that day and lock Alastair Kellock was skipper a week later against England before Ford assumed control, while scrum-half Mike Blair led Scotland in the most recent meeting with New Zealand, the 49-3 loss in November 2010. Scrum-half Chris Cusiter, who is currently out injured, has also captained Scotland since Robinson's appointment in 2009.
But it will now be Brown who leads the team against the Kiwis in what will be his 50th cap for the national side. "It's obviously a huge honour and though I haven't played for Scotland for a while I'm really looking forward to the challenges ahead," Brown said. "On the flight up, it was like Christmas. It's been so long since I've actually played for Scotland so I'm really, really looking forward to that.
"And we're playing against the best side in the world so it's a massive, massive challenge but one, I'm sure, we'll thrive on."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin
After Brian O'Driscoll's emotional final Ireland appearance on home soil, and seeing the Six Nations boil down to a three-horse race, we bring you the Weekend in PIctures
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year