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Johnson keeps Brown as captain


Kelly Brown will lead out Scotland at Twickenham

Kelly Brown will lead out Scotland at Twickenham

Kelly Brown will lead out Scotland at Twickenham

Forward Kelly Brown has been told he can keep hold of the Scotland captaincy for the RBS 6 Nations opener against England.

Interim head coach Scott Johnson has decided to stick with the Saracens man - who was skipper for the autumn internationals - when the Scots run out for the Calcutta Cup match at Twickenham on Saturday.

Brown - capped 52 times - said: "It's a huge honour to captain Scotland. The job now is to work with all the players in the squad to deliver a performance to make the country proud this weekend."

Johnson added: "It was right and proper that the coaches considered the captaincy at the same time as we were looking at selection of our squad for the England game.

"We believe Kelly has the qualities we're looking for to captain Scotland. Captaincy is about deed in my book, not Churchillian oratory, and the experience that Kelly brings to the Test match arena is good for this team.

"We are looking at our leadership group and I'll be naming two vice-captains in the team we announce tomorrow."

Johnson's reluctance to confirm Brown's continuation in the role for the whole Championship stems from the fact his own place in the team is not guaranteed.

The 30-year-old played in all three back-row positions during Scotland's three November Tests with New Zealand, Australia and Tonga, whose surprise victory at Pittodrie eventually forced former coach Andy Robinson to resign.

He faces competition for the number eight jersey from a resurgent Johnnie Beattie, while Alasdair Strokosch and Al Kellock offer alternative options in other key forward positions, but Brown insists getting Scotland off to a winning start in London this weekend is his main focus - and not holding on to his role as skipper.

He said: "It's not about that. It's not about me, it's about the team. Yes I want to play well, but by playing well that will enable the team to be successful. That's what all of the guys in the group have to buy into. It's all about the team."

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