Ford challenges Scotland to banish England at last

Edinburgh (AFP) –


Ross Ford has challenged his Scotland team-mates to set the record straight when they face old rivals England in the Six Nations opener on Saturday.

Edinburgh hooker Ford and front-row colleague Al Dickinson are the only players in the Scotland line-up for this weekend's Calcutta Cup clash who have tasted victory against England.

In the eight years since that win at Murrayfield, the best the Scots have managed was a 15-15 draw back in 2010.

But after Scotland impressed at last year's World Cup while England struggled, Ford has urged his colleagues to grasp the opportunity to end that dismal run when they face Eddie Jones' new look England.

Asked on Friday if some of his team-mates should be worried by the prospect of going their whole career without managing a victory over England, Ford said: "I don't think we should see it as a scary thing. It should be a challenge that the boys enjoy.

"And it shouldn't just be about winning one or two of them - we should be looking to do it consistently. We should be aiming to get regular victories against a lot of nations, not just England.

"The consistency and performance is key to doing that but this group of boys has the talent to do it, to become a team Scotland can be proud of."

It is 17 years since Scotland last lifted the Six Nations title and 10 years since their last opening-day win.

But Ford, who has managed just eight Six Nations wins from 45 tournament appearances, said: "In the past, we've obviously not been at our best to win those games.

"But I think this group of players have developed into a really good squad. We have a lot of strength as well as exciting players coming through.

"Going forward we should be confident and excited in our ability."