Edinburgh Rugby today confirmed that Scotland and Lions hooker Ross Ford has extended his contract until the summer of 2016.
News of the deal was broken by the Evening News on February 25 and since then Ford has gone on to equal Gordon Bulloch’s national record of 75 Scotland caps for a hooker when he came off the bench against Wales at the weekend.
Since joining from the now-defunct Border Reivers in 2007, Ford has made 116 appearances for Edinburgh and that tally seems set to increase against Ulster at Murrayfield tomorrow.
In a statement released by Edinburgh, Ford said: “I’m really pleased to stay on.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here and I really like the coaching style of [head coach] Alan Solomons, and the set-up he’s putting in place.
“There’s no doubt about what you have to do and how hard you have to work to be part of this club. We’re developing a style that suits us and that’s tough to beat.
“Alan has worked us hard and I think that, while we still have a bit to go, you can see consistent improvements in our performances.
“I can now look forward to continuing those improvements and helping the club push forward for at least the next two seasons.”
Head coach Alan Solomons said: “Ross is an outstanding bloke and an outstanding rugby player. His form for us has been tremendous this season and he has made an invaluable contribution.
“First of all, he is genetically gifted. He is a big strong boy and uses the weight and power that he has effectively. He is exceptionally committed and an absolute professional in everything he does.
“He is a good role model for our younger players and is such a good guy to have in the squad. It’s great that he has committed to us.
“I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word about him and I don’t think they could, he’s just a fine human being.”
Meanwhile, Edinburgh retain only five of the players who started in a 17-41 defeat in Ulster earlier this season when the teams meet again at Murrayfield tomorrow in the Rabo Diect PRO12.
Coming straight back after an international debut for Scotland last week is a try-scorer in that previous meeting, Dougie Fife, while altogether there are three changes from the Edinburgh team which beat Ospreys last time out.
Those who faced Ulster previously are Fife, Cuthbert, Nel, Grant and Du Preez.
Edinburgh team: Cuthbert, Fife, Beard, Strauss, Brown, Bezuidenhout, Hart, Dickinson, Ford, Nel. Gilchrist, van der Westhuizen, Coman, captain, Du Preez, Grant. Unused subs: Hilterbrand, Blaauw, McQuillin, Atkins, Leonardi, Kennedy, Leonard, De Luca.