Scotland's record cap-holder Ford announces retirement

By Sports Desk June 27, 2019
Ross Ford Ross Ford

Ross Ford, Scotland's record appearance maker, has retired from rugby as he plans to go into coaching.

It was confirmed in April that the hooker, who won 110 caps for his country, would be leaving club side Edinburgh at the end of the 2018-19 season.

And on Thursday, Scottish Rugby revealed Ford's plans to move into strength and conditioning coaching, helping young players in the Scottish Borders.

"I always enjoyed the S&C side of things. It was always a big part of my game and it was something I was good at," Ford said.

"Later in my career I took a big interest in it and it became something I wanted to do after I finished playing, so I was really keen when this opportunity came up, especially being a Borders lad as well.

"I've been very fortunate. I've had a long career in the sport and have been able to represent my country at the highest level, playing in a lot of great places around the world.

"I've met some characters along the way and overall just feel very lucky to have played a sport that I love and make a living in the process.

"I never had any specific targets in mind, it [reaching 110 caps] just kind of crept up on me. I recognise it as a big achievement but it's just something that came hand-in-hand with playing the sport.

"Mossy [Chris Paterson] got over 100 and Sean [Lamont] is up over 100 as well. I never set out to get to get certain number or beat them. I just kept playing because I was enjoying it."

Ford, who made his international debut against Australia in 2004, brings down the curtain on a career that encompassed almost 300 professional games and saw him capped as a British and Irish Lion on the tour to South Africa in 2009.

Related items

  • Ghiraldini named in Italy squad for Rugby World Cup Ghiraldini named in Italy squad for Rugby World Cup

    Sergio Parisse will lead an Italy squad that includes Leonardo Ghiraldini, fit again following a serious knee injury, at this year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.

    Director of rugby Conor O'Shea confirmed his list of 31 names on Monday, with Ghiraldini selected after recovering from a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament sustained during the Six Nations in March.

    The hooker has won 104 caps for his country but is currently without a club. He will serve as a vice-captain to Parisse, who is set to appear in a fifth edition of the tournament.

    O'Shea has also included Wasps full-back Matteo Minozzi after he scored a hat-trick of tries in Sunday's resounding 85-15 win over Russia, as well as Gloucester's Bristol-born scrum-half Callum Braley.

    "Choosing the 31 players for the Rugby World Cup - and talking to those who will not continue the adventure with us - was probably the hardest thing I have done since I've been in the rugby world," said O'Shea.

    The Azzurri are in Pool B alongside reigning champions New Zealand, South Africa, Namibia and Canada.

    "Compared to when I started my journey here, we now definitely have a better team, with more internal competition and much-improved performances," added O'Shea.

    "Recently, we have shown that we can play against the top teams when we play our best game.

    "At the World Cup we absolutely must win against Namibia and Canada and then focus on the other two big challenges we have. I believe that against South Africa, with this team, we can create an opportunity on our day."

    Before the tournament, Italy are scheduled to play Tests against France and England on August 30 and September 6 respectively.

     

    Italy's 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup:

    Forwards: Simone Ferrari, Andrea Lovotti, Tiziano Pasquali, Nicola Quaglio, Marco Riccioni, Federico Zani, Luca Bigi, Oliviero Fabiani, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Dean Budd, Federico Ruzza, David Sisi, Alessandro Zanni, Maxime Mbanda, Sebastian Negri, Sergio Parisse (capt), Jake Polledri, Abraham Steyn

    Backs: Callum Braley, Guglielmo Palazzani, Tito Tebaldi, Tommaso Allan, Carlo Canna, Tommaso Benvenuti, Michele Campagnaro, Luca Morisi, Mattia Bellini, Giulio Bisegni, Jayden Hayward, Matteo Minozzi, Edoardo Padovani

  • France 32-3 Scotland: Les Bleus scythe through sorry Scots France 32-3 Scotland: Les Bleus scythe through sorry Scots

    France stormed to a dominant 32-3 victory against an over-matched Scotland to launch their Rugby World Cup preparations in emphatic style.

    Jacques Brunel's side beat Scotland 27-10 in this season's Six Nations and this was an even more sapping experience for their visitors in Nice.

    The damage was done by first-half tries from Alivereti Raka, Maxime Medard and Gregory Alldritt, with Medard adding a second before Antoine Dupont went over with an hour played.

    Gregor Townsend's men host the same opponents next weekend at Murrayfield, where they will need to make a better start than the botched line-out that allowed Raka to gleefully charge over on the end of Wesley Fofana's second-minute pass.

    Medard touched down in the corner to make it 15-0, Camille Lopez having dispatched his initial attempts from the tee.

    Adam Hastings kicked Scotland's solitary points but was in the sin-bin when the France pack obliterated their opponents in a rolling maul, with Alldritt the beneficiary.

    Francois Cros was the latest home player to tear through Scotland's meagre defensive efforts in the 54th minute, allowing Medard a gleeful run to the line.

    Dupont benefitted from Damian Penaud's mazy run, with Lopez adding the extras before France eased to the close, giving Townsend plenty to think about before the sides reconvene in Edinburgh.

  • South Africa 24-18 Argentina: Springboks rely on Nkosi class to see off Pumas South Africa 24-18 Argentina: Springboks rely on Nkosi class to see off Pumas

    Sbu Nkosi produced two flashes of brilliance as South Africa ground out a 24-18 victory over Argentina at Loftus Versfeld.

    The Sharks wing dashed over for a pair of silky tries that were out of keeping with the quality in the rest of the contest, with only a late disallowed score denying Argentina a famous win.

    South Africa, who start their Rugby World Cup campaign against holders New Zealand on September 21, caused a surprise by winning the recent Rugby Championship ahead of the All Blacks, Australia and Saturday's opponents.

    This was their final home Test before going for global glory in Japan, and it was a tough contest, with coach Rassie Erasmus seeing his side given plenty of trouble by the Pumas.

    His Boks had won 46-13 in Salta when they travelled to Argentina for last weekend's Rugby Championship finale, but this never looked like being a similarly one-sided match.

    Led by hooker Schalk Brits, who at 38 years and three months became South Africa's oldest first-time captain, South Africa were often sluggish 

    Elton Jantjies booted South Africa ahead in the 18th minute but Argentina responded in kind through Joaquin Diaz Bonilla.

    Nkosi skipped in down the right for his first try, with a stylish shuffle of his feet before darting for the line. Jantjies rattled the post with the conversion attempt.

    Argentina hit back right at the end of the half with an interception try, Guido Petti seizing on a loose pass from Cobus Reinach to run in from halfway. Diaz Bonilla added the extras and the Pumas held a 10-8 half-time lead.

    Nkosi produced a sparkling run and dived over for his second try, taking the aerial route to avoid a last-ditch Pumas tackle.

    But there was plenty of mileage left in the contest, with Diaz Bonilla and Jantjies exchanging penalties before Pablo Matera pounced for a try from a line-out by the Boks line.

    Jantjies kicked another penalty to nudge the hosts 21-18 in front yet Argentina looked to have won it when Lucas Mensa charged through to dot down late on.

    An earlier obstruction on Vincent Koch resulted in the try being disallowed, to South Africa's relief, and Jantjies added the resulting penalty to secure a narrow win.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.