Six Nations: Scotland captain Kelly Brown hopes Paris victory will boost captaincy chances
Saturday 16 March 2013
Scotland captain Kelly Brown admits the country’s best Six Nations campaign in recent memory still might not be enough to see him hold on to the captaincy.
The Saracens flanker was first given the role for last year’s autumn internationals but the honour turned into a personal nightmare with defeats to New Zealand, South Africa and, most alarmingly, Tonga. But caretaker coach Scott Johnson’s first act after taking over from the departed Andy Robinson was to confirm the 30-year-old would hold on to the armband for the championship opener with England.
Scotland lost that game too but wins over Italy and Ireland handed them their first back-to-back triumphs since 2001. Brown will now hope to become the first Scottish captain since Gary Armstrong to lead the nation to victory in Paris when they take on France tonight.
However, even with the Scots on course for their best Six Nations display since 2006, Brown claims that he has no idea if he will still be captain when the team heads to South Africa for a four-team tournament in the summer.
“There’s no doubt, winning makes things significantly more enjoyable. So I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve enjoyed being captain,” he said. “But I’ve got no idea what’s going to happen in the future. I just need to make sure after the championship I go back to Saracens and keep doing well. If I keep doing that, hopefully I’ll be in the squad for South Africa.”
Scotland will run out at the Stade de France with the aim of recording their third victory in a single Six Nations campaign for only the second time in seven years. Their opponents, by contrast, have just one point to their name after opening the tournament with defeats to Italy, Wales and England before last week’s 13-13 draw with Ireland in Dublin.
The former Glasgow man believes another similar display to the one which so frustrated Ireland in their surprise 12-8 defeat at Murrayfield last month – could yet turn the fickle Parisian crowd against the fragile French squad.
He said: “Whatever happens tomorrow, it will be our best finish since 2006, so that is a good sign but we want to make sure this is a long-term change in fortune. We need to start well. There’s no doubt the French are a wounded animal. They will come out and absolutely fire into us.”
The Scotland forwards coach, Dean Ryan, has confirmed he will walk away from his Murrayfield post after today’s match.
* France: Y Huget; V Clerc (both Toulouse), M Bastareaud (Toulon), W Fofana (Clermont Auvergne), M Médard (Toulouse); F Michalak (Toulon), M Parra; T Domingo, B Kayser (all Clermont), N Mas, S Vahaamahina (both Perpignan), Y Maestri (Toulouse), A Claassen (Castres), T Dusautoir (Toulouse; capt), L Picamoles (Toulouse). Replacements: G Guirado (Perpignan), V Debaty (Clermont), L Ducalon, C Samson (both Castres), Y Nyanga (Toulouse), M Machenaud (Racing Metro), F Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), F Fritz or G Fickou (both Toulouse).
* Scotland: S Hogg; S Maitland, S Lamont (all Glasgow), M Scott, T Visser (both Edinburgh); D Weir (Glasgow), G Laidlaw (Edinburgh); R Grant (Glasgow), R Ford (Edinburgh), E Murray (Worcester), G Gilchrist (Edinburgh), J Hamilton (Gloucester), A Strokosch (Perpignan), K Brown (Saracens; capt), J Beattie (Montpellier). Replacements: D Hall, M Low (both Glasgow), G Cross (Edinburgh), A Kellock, R Wilson, H Pyrgos, R Jackson (all Glasgow), M Evans (Castres).
Referee N Owens (Wal). TV BBC 2, 8pm.
Manchester United's best XI of the season so far: No place for Angel Di Maria or Juan Mata
Which player sells the most shirts in the Premier League?
WrestleMania 31 results: Seth Rollins stuns WWE as he cashes in Money in the Bank contract to claim title from Brock Lesnar
Italy vs England preview: Roy Hodgson to experiment with Phil Jones in midfield while Harry Kane joins Theo Walcott in attack
WrestleMania 31: Undertaker begins a new streak after tombstoning Bray Wyatt
- 1 Replica Back to the Future Hoverboard released
- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
- 4 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans