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Ross Ford adjusts to view from Scotland's bench

Centurion hooker Ross Ford never took his Scotland place for granted even when he was a guaranteed starter.

And the veteran forward insists is not about to start doing so now that he has has a fight on his hands for a slot in Vern Cotter's line-up.

Ford - a front-row mainstay for more than a decade - was forced to settle for an unfamiliar seat on the bench as the Dark Blues kicked off their RBS 6 Nations campaign at home to Ireland on Saturday, with Fraser Brown given the nod to start against Joe Schmidt's men.

But Ford did not have to wait long to collect his 104th international cap as Brown went off with a facial injury, coming on as a fourth-minute blood replacement before the switch was made permanent on the half-hour mark.

His experience proved vital, however, as Scotland held off a second-half fight back from the Irish to claim a 27-22 win.

The Scots now travel to Paris to face France on Sunday and Ford is keeping his fingers crossed he can play a part against Les Bleus.

But the 32-year-old conceded : "You always want to start but it's about what's best for the team. I wanted to come on and make an impact against Ireland and did that.

"If that's what I've to do for the team again then that's no problem at all.

"This squad's players are very competitive, so even if you start on the bench then you know you're going to come on and add to the team. In the end, it's all about winning the game.

"It was different being on the bench. I wasn't as nervous at the start of the game as there was time to bed in.

"It's just something you adapt to and get on with.

"I was happy with how I played and there are things I could have done better but we'll discover this week if it was enough for a start against France.

"I said in the autumn that we had Fraser and Rambo [Stuart McInally] pushing hard now so that competition's there now. You just need to make sure that when you get that chance, you take it.

"I have never taken my place for granted. You always want to start, it's up to you to put the work in to make it difficult for the coach to drop you."


From Belfast Telegraph