Ross William Ford is Scotland’s most-capped forward of all time, overtaking the record held by Scott Murray since 2007 when he earned his 88th cap in the national team’s away win over Italy in the 2015 Summer Tests.
Ross won his first senior cap for Scotland when he was introduced as a replacement during the opening match of the 2004 Autumn Tests against Australia at Murrayfield.
It was over a year before he made his second appearance, reward for a solid season with the Border Reivers, when he came on as a replacement against Wales in the 2006 RBS Six Nations.
More than two years after his debut – following nine replacement appearances – he had his first Scotland start against France in Paris on the final day of the 2007 RBS Six Nations Championship.
He was again in the starting XV for the next international, the World Cup warm-up in which Scotland beat Ireland 31-21 at Murrayfield, and he continued as first-choice against South Africa two weeks later.
In 2007 Ford marked his World Cup debut with a try when he appeared as a replacement in Scotland’s 56-10 win against Portugal in St Etienne. His second international try was in Scotland’s second-Test win against Argentina in Buenos Aires in June 2008.
He made a successful contribution to the 2009 Lions tour of South Africa, becoming the first Scot to be part of a winning Lions Test side since Gregor Townsend, Alan Tait and Tom Smith in South Africa 12 years previously.
Ford was a late replacement on the tour for Ireland’s Jerry Flannery. Then, a year later, he was a pivotal figure as Scotland commanded the forward exchanges on their historic 2-0 tour success in Argentina.
In an early indication of what would quickly become a line of acolades, Ross became the most-capped player from the Kelso club, over-taking the White Shark, John Jeffrey.
Ford then became the 31st Scot to reach the landmark of 50 caps for his country when he appeared against Romania in the opening game of the 2011 Rugby World Cup campaign.
He then captained Scotland for the first time in the opening game of the 2012 RBS 6 Nations Championship and led his country to an historic 9-6 victory over Australia in the first Test of the 2012 summer tour to the South Pacific, to the second Test win over Fiji and made it three out of three with the injury time defeat of Samoa.
The now ‘stick-on’ Scotland starter then surpassred Gordon Bulloch, his fellow former Scotland captain and British Lion, as Scotland’s most-capped hooker, when he won his 76th cap, enjoying victory against Argentina in the third match of Scotland’s 2014 summer tour.
Ross, whose commitment, consistency and professionalism were described by former head coach Andy Robinson as “exemplary”, can also be measured by his cap tally, starting 78 of 94 appearances come then end of the Rugby World Cup 2015; his third appearance in the competition.
The Kelso High School former pupil captained Scotland under-16 and was a member of the 2002 Commonwealth Games Sevens squad in Manchester. He has also represented his country at under-18, under-19, and under-21 levels.
His under-19 honours included the 2002 IRB/FIRA world junior championship in Italy, when he played in all four of Scotland’s games as a flank forward, though he soon switched to hooker with Border Reivers. He made his under-21 international debut in the 2004 match against Wales at Bridgend, and he played in the age group’s world championship that year and 2005.
Ross, a graduate of the Scottish Institute of Sport, was named Border Reivers’ Player of the Year at the Scottish Rugby Awards Dinner in May 2006. He joined Glasgow Warriors in summer 2007 but switched to Edinburgh in mid-October after the Rugby World Cup.