Ford relishing Springboks test

Scotland hooker Ross Ford is looking forward to facing the physical challenge of South Africa when the sides meet in a World Cup warm-up encounter at Murrayfield. [more]

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Scotland hooker Ross Ford is looking forward to facing the physical challenge of South Africa when the sides meet in a World Cup warm-up encounter at Murrayfield.

It will be the first time Ford has faced the Springboks – and having heard all about their combative style he is relishing the contest.

"It’s the first time I’ve started against a southern hemisphere team and I’m looking forward to it. There is definitely an element of venturing into the unknown but we’ve watched a lot of videos and I’m confident we can take the game to them," said the 23-year-old.

"I’ve spoken to some of the more experienced players in the squad like Jason White and Scott Murray. They have said that they are as big as they look on the telly, but the way we’ve trained this summer we’re quite confident in our ability to match them.

"They are one of the best scrummaging teams in the world so it is definitely going to be a big challenge for Gavin Kerr, Euan Murray and myself in the Scottish front-row to make our mark and set the tone rather than let them have it all their own way."

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Having decided to stay at home instead of going on tour this summer, the Scots appear to be reaping the rewards with almost every player looking bigger and meaner than ever before.

Ford appears to be the odd one out. He has actually lost weight, although he still clocks in at 113kgs so is in no immediate danger of wasting away to nothing.

Furthermore, a powerful break by the Borderer midway through the first half of Scotland’s recent 31-21 defeat of Ireland proved that he is still more than capable of making a major impact.

"I didn’t expect myself to be that quick. I’d like to say it was a 60-metre break but I think it was only 10. I like to get the ball in my hands as much as possible," he smiled.

"It gave me a bit of a lift. Last season wasn’t a great one for me, so I’ve worked hard over the summer to get back to where I was in terms of strength and fitness. I’m feeling a lot better from it and I take a lot of confidence out of that."

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