Rugby: Scotland squad gathering at St Andrews is ‘a fresh start’

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Scotland Rugby skipper Ross Ford insists the home-based contingent can be galvanised by a return to the international fold after a poor start to the Heineken European Cup.

Neither Edinburgh or Glasgow have gained a point so far but Ford says of the impending Scotland camp at St Andrews: “It is a different scenario with different coaches. It is almost like a fresh start. New boys working together. You just get on with it.

“Players would prefer to come in off the back of a few wins, but playing for your country is an honour so you go there and start afresh.

“You don’t go into any games being negative. You want to show what you can do. It does not always happen but there is no point your bottom lip tripping you. You have to find a way to fix things, there is no point dwelling on the negatives for too long.”

It is not just the Scots who are under-performing; in all meetings with rivals from either the English or French this season the Celtic contingent have posted just two wins as opposed to nine for parties agitating for a greater influence in the running of European affairs.

However, Scotland can enter camp on the back of three summer tour wins albeit Ford is only interested in looking ahead while acknowledging the fresh approach.

Ford said: “You haven’t seen them [the other players] for a while. You’re working to different systems; it is a fresh start. You focus on the positive and look at what you can bring to the table.

“We cannot stand still and admire what we have done. We will gather at St Andrews to set the bar higher again.”

Meanwhile, the captaincy is expected to be between Ford and a fit-again Kelly Brown of Saracens.

Ford admits: “I am happy to do the job again. If I get picked, I would be happy to do it. We’ll have to hear what Andy [Robinson] has to say about it.”

• EDINBURGH Rugby’s run of five straight defeats has seen them slip to 30th out of 36 teams in the latest European Rugby rankings.

• THE Scotland A team are 
expected to announce shortly that they will play a match against England Saxons at Newcastle on February 1.