And Ford’s appearance landmark will see him edge past the number made by interim Edinburgh Rugby head coach, Stevie Scott, during his tenure as hooker from 1998 to 2002.
Scott paid tribute to Ford’s contribution in a black and red shirt, saying: “Ross [Ford] has been an exceptional servant to Edinburgh and Scottish Rugby, keeping himself in immense mental and physical condition throughout a very distinguished career to date.
“He’s a fantastic character and role model to young players and shows the relentless dedication you would expect from someone who has won 69 caps, captained his country and toured with the British Lions.”
Edinburgh have made one change to the side that defeated Ulster last week, with Perry Parker replacing Grant Gilchrist, who is unavailable due to a family bereavement.
Edinburgh team to face Zebre (tonight, 6pm, Stadio XXV Aprile): Tonks; Jones, Scott, Atiga, Visser; Francis, Laidlaw (c); Jacobsen, Ford, Nel, Parker, Cox, McInally, Rennie, Talei. Substitutes: Lawrie, Yapp, Cross, McAlpine, Watson, Kennedy, Leonard, Brown