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Ford wants to shed losers tag

Ross Ford is desperate for Scotland to shed the tag of "unlucky losers" - and that quest starts with a revenge mission against England on Saturday.

Scotland have not lost at home to the 'auld enemy' since 2004 but they were knocked out of the World Cup by England last October, courtesy of a last-gasp Chris Ashton try.

"I think it's about time we delivered," Hooker Ford said. "We have had a lot of really good one-off wins. It is about time we delivered in a championship and that has to start on Saturday."

He added: "(The World Cup defeat) was really disappointing. We knew we had under-performed and we had let ourselves down. Nobody wants to be unlucky losers. International rugby is about winning and that is what we want to do. This is a new tournament for us, a new Six Nations. We are looking forward now.

"Saturday is where it begins. It will be a brilliant occasion. These games always are. We have to turn up and deliver the performance."

England are sending an inexperienced side to Murrayfield, with the starting XV set to feature three debutants and there could be five more uncapped players on the bench.

A week after beating Scotland, England crashed out of the World Cup and have had to rebuild with a new coaching team and new-look squad of players.

Scotland have not lost a home Calcutta Cup fixture since 2004 and Graham Rowntree suggested this week they would be "licking their lips" at the prospect of tackling an England side trying to escape their "unspeakable past".

Ford was not disrespectful enough to agree with Rowntree - but he admitted some Scotland players will draw inspiration from those recent results against England at Murrayfield.

"They have got a new set-up and some fresh faces. They have performed at the highest level in the Premiership and the Heineken Cup," Ford said. "They are experienced players and will be just as much a challenge as any other team in the Six Nations. We respect them. We have to make sure we earn it on the pitch."


From Belfast Telegraph