Ross Ford has massive respect for Vern Cotter – and the hooker admits the best way to show that respect is to send the Head Coach off with a win over Italy.

The sides meet in the 6 Nations at BT Murrayfield tomorrow in Kiwi Cotter’s last match in charge of Scotland.

Over the last three years Scotland have progressed well under his watchful eye and if they can defeat Italy they would have won three games in this tournament.

“The way the team are playing
and the results we’re getting show how massive Vern’s impact has been,” says Ford, who has been recalled and will win his 107th cap this weekend.

“What he asks of the players, the work ethic he instils in players, the way he carries himself, he’s been a huge 
influence on all of us.

“I have a massive respect for Vern but he’s made it clear it’s not about him, it’s about the game. The boys understand that we’ve got to get things right. He is a great man and he has definitely been a very good coach for us. He’s made me look at the way I play, help me improve, he’s a very good coach, massive respect for 
the man.”

Italy are not just heading to Edinburgh to  make up the number though.

“They are confrontational, they like to disrupt games,” Edinburgh Rugby’s Ford said.

“You have to be very disciplined with them. You can’t give them easy access into the game by giving them penalties. Then they get their scrum and maul going and if they get a sniff they are always there or thereabouts so you have to be disciplined and break them down.

“And be aware that it will take time to break them down. I think in this championship they have been leading or within a score at half-time so it does take time to break them down. They have developed the way they are trying to play. The overriding thing is being patient and being disciplined with the ball and even more disciplined without it.”

Thanks to David Gibson/FOTOSPORT for the photo of Ross Ford ahead of his 107th cap

‘Keep It SCRUM’ for all the news and views about the 6 Nations tournament – and read SCRUM 92 here

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