Ross Ford confident he will be fit for selection after stinging experience

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ROSS Ford is confident that he will be fit enough to start the RBS Six Nations Championship with Scotland, if interim head coach Scott Johnson agrees.

The Edinburgh hooker has not played since coming off in the festive derby with Glasgow, having suffered the fourth ‘stinger’ in five games. He has spent the past four weeks treating the nerve damage and was back in training with the Scotland squad at Glasgow’s indoor 3G pitch at Toryglen yesterday. He explained: “I got a number of stingers over a six-week period from the autumn Tests to then. It got gradually worse and I lost strength in one arm, so I had to take a break. B

“You watch the team playing and not winning and feel you could do something if you got out there, so it’s frustrating, but the shoulder feels a lot better now and everybody’s hopeful that I’ll at least be fit for selection for the Six Nations.”

He added that ‘at least’ because he knows it’s not a foregone conclusion that he will be considered the first choice for the No 2 jersey. This time last year Ford was being asked by Andy Robinson to take over as captain for the Six Nations, after injury robbed Kelly Brown of the honour. Robinson is now gone, Brown is back, and Ford is, like Brown, worrying only about whether he can make the team. “It was a great honour to captain Scotland and I enjoyed it,” said the hooker, “so if asked I would be delighted to do it again. But I just want to get back playing at my best and improving my game.

“A hooker is always in the spotlight for lineout throwing, and I’ve been working very hard on it.

“The lineout and the scrum will be big against England. It’s where we can really attack them from, and they will try to take us on with their driving lineouts.”

He added: “I’m looking forward to it. Being in Glasgow training, with new coaches, new players, it’s a new start. People are asking how Edinburgh players will recover from the defeats, but I don’t think there will be a problem.

“We’ve moved to a different team, different set-up, different training and there’s a freshness guys draw confidence from.

“Get the head down, work hard and then prove that you deserve to be selected. That’s how I see things, anyway, and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in again.”