Edinburgh Rugby received a major boost ahead of this Friday’s clash with Ulster at Murrayfield Stadium with the news that Scotland and British & Irish Lions hooker Ross Ford has extended his contract until the summer of 2016.
A key part of the club’s leadership group, Ford has captained both club and country on his way to 116 Edinburgh Rugby appearances and 75 Scotland caps – equaling Gordon Bulloch’s national record for the position.
The mobile and immensely powerful Borderer has been a mainstay in the club’s front-row since he joined from Border Reivers in 2007, and is considered one of the leading hookers in the game.
He said: “I’m really pleased to stay on at Edinburgh Rugby.
I’ve enjoyed my time here and I really like the coaching style of [head coach] Alan Solomons, and the set-up he’s putting in place.
- - Edinburgh Rugby hooker, Ross Ford
“There’s no doubt about what you have to do and how hard you have to work to be part of this club.
“We’re developing a style that suits us and that’s tough to beat.
"Alan has worked us hard and I think that, while we still have a bit to go, you can see consistent improvements in our performances.
"I can now look forward to continuing those improvements and helping the club push forward for at least the next two seasons."
Ford won his first senior cap for Scotland when he was introduced as a replacement during the opening match of the 2004 Autumn Tests against Australia at Murrayfield Stadium.
Since then he has become Scotland’s mainstay in the number two shirt, starting 62 of his 75 caps, taking in two Rugby World Cups (2007 and 2011) and a Test appearance for the British & Irish Lions in their 2009 win over South Africa in Johannesburg.
Unsurprisingly he has held similar sway for club as well as country, starting 107 of 116 games in the capital.
Head coach Alan Solomons was delighted to secure his services for another two terms.
He said: “Ross [Ford] is an outstanding bloke and an outstanding rugby player.
“His form for us has been tremendous this season and he has made an invaluable contribution.
“First of all he is genetically gifted. He is a big, strong boy and uses the weight and power that he has effectively. He is exceptionally committed and an absolute professional in everything he does.
He is a good role model for our younger players and is such a good guy to have in the squad. It’s great that he has committed to us.
- - Head coach Alan Solomons
“I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word about him and I don’t think they could, he’s just a fine human being.”