Rugby

Ross Ford, Scotland's most capped player, hangs up boots after 110 test appearances

AFP-JIJI

Ross Ford, Scottish rugby’s most capped player with 110 test appearances, announced his retirement on Thursday.

The 35-year-old hooker — who won one cap for the British & Irish Lions in the 2009 series with South Africa — is to move into coaching with the Scottish Rugby Academy.

Ford, who made his test debut in 2004 and earned his record-breaking and final Scotland cap against Fiji two years ago, said he never targeted becoming the record caps holder.

“I never had any specific targets in mind, it (reaching 110 caps) just kind of crept up on me,” said Ford.

“I recognize 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 (a) certain number or beat them. I just kept playing because I was enjoying it.”

Ford, who started out his career as a back row forward, said he is looking forward to developing young talent at the Academy in the Scottish Borders.

“I always enjoyed the strength and conditioning side of things,” he said.

“It was always a big part of my game and it was something I was good at.

“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.

“There’s a lot of talent here so if I can help them develop and make this one part of their game world class then, hopefully, they’ll come through and go on to bigger and better things.”

GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5