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.
Chelsea vs West Brom: Jose Mourinho turns on ‘Dr Sergio Ramos’ in Spanish spat
Prince Harry leads the congratulations for Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi, calling him 'an absolute legend' as he crossed the finish line
WWE Survivor Series 2014: What time does the event start? And full card
Arsenal vs Manchester United player ratings: Who was the star man? Wayne Rooney or David De Gea?
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool player ratings: Dwight Gayle? Yannick Bolasie? Who stole the show at Selhurst Park?
- 1 Universities aren't working us hard enough, say undergraduates
- 2 Lego letter from the 1970s still offers a powerful message to parents 40 years later
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services