Former Melrose star to captain Scotland against the All Blacks

Published: 2 Nov 2012 06:300 comments

KELLY Brown (pictured), the 30-year-old back-row forward, will captain Scotland for the first time in next weekend's EMC Test against New Zealand.

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The announcement was made by head coach Andy Robinson as the national squad's three day St Andrews camp drew to a close.

Robinson said: "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 Edinburgh Rugby hooker Ross Ford, Brown's fellow Borderer, for his leadership of Scotland, including the most recent unbeaten three Test match tour to Australasia.

"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," he added.

Brown, an influential figure among the galaxy of stars at his club Saracens, told www.scottishrugby.org : "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."

Kelly Brown's first interview as Scotland captain is also available on Scottish Rugby's You Tube channel.

Brown, who made a try-scoring Scotland debut against Romania in Bucharest in 2005, is a product of the Melrose club and was a popular member of both the Border Reivers and Glasgow Warriors as he brought steel to their forward efforts.

Injury in a Heineken Cup game back in January deprived him of the chance to captain Scotland in the RBS 6 Nations Championship . . . and the significant benchmark of a 50th Scotland cap.

Now that milestone will be achieved against New Zealand at Murrayfield next Sunday (11 November).

"On the flight up, it was like Christmas! It's been so long since I've actually played for Scotland (September 2011) 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," Brown said.

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