Ross Ford today committed his long-term future to Edinburgh, signing a new two-year contract and underlining his intention to help the club fulfil its potential.
The 46-cap hooker, whose career in the black and red began in October 2007, says that Edinburgh’s drive to progress both on and off the field convinced him to dedicate the prime years of his career to the side from the Scottish capital.
Ford’s form with both the Murrayfield outfit and Scotland saw him called up to the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa in 2009, where he appeared as a replacement in the third test win in Johannesburg.
He has since established himself as a mainstay of the national team, being lauded for his displays in the historic wins over Australia, Ireland, Argentina and South Africa, and has continued to impress for Edinburgh.
Ford, 26, is the second high-profile talent to pledge his future to the club in recent weeks, Tim Visser, the reigning Magners League Young Player of the Season and the current top tournament try scorer, having also agreed an extension.
Ford today expressed his delight at signing up for at least another two campaigns, saying: “I’ve loved being part of Edinburgh’s development in the last four years, and I’m excited by the prospect of helping the club push on.
“As a player, you always want to be part of a set-up that’s going forward and I firmly believe that this is the right environment for me to carry on maturing.
"I look forward to enjoying more good times with Edinburgh. It’s great to have my future sorted out, and I’m thrilled that future is with Edinburgh.”
Nick Scrivener, the club’s interim head coach, confirmed: “Ross putting pen to paper is a massive boost for everyone. He’s a huge player for us in every sense, and resigning someone of that quality is a positive signal about where we’re at as a club and where we want to go.
“Physically, Ross is a tremendous specimen: he’s got all the ingredients you’d want in a modern hooker as well as a fantastic work ethic. We’re looking to him to really be a leader, in terms of his own performance and how he influences those around him, and we look forward to working with him to ensure he continues to go from strength to strength over the next couple of years.”
Craig Docherty, the Edinburgh chief executive, hailed the retention of Ford as “the perfect follow-up” to the new Visser deal.
He said: “I’m sure our supporters will be as happy as I am that Ross is staying with the club and has bought into our plans for growth in a rugby and commercial sense.
“It’s fantastic that we’ll be able to count on his services going forward. The news also sends out a powerful message that we’re both determined and able to hold on to talented, sought-after players and are continuing to invest significantly in the squad.”
Ross will be available for interview and photography in the Rowan Suite at Murrayfield Stadium following today's Scotland captain's media conference, which begins at 12.15pm.
Ross William Ford has developed into one of the foremost hookers in the European game since joining Edinburgh from Border Reivers in 2007. This status was confirmed when he was called up to the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa in summer 2009. Ford came off the bench in the third test victory in Johannesburg.
Quick, mobile and blessed with a powerful physique, Ford has had a phenomenal impact in the black and red since making his debut at Connacht in October 2007.
As Andy Robinson’s first signing, Ford scored Scottish Rugby’s Try of the Season when he finished off a thrilling move during Edinburgh’s memorable Heineken Cup win over Leicester Tigers in January 2008.
Ford won his first senior cap for Scotland when he was introduced as a replacement during the opening match of the 2004 Abbey Autumn Tests against Australia at Murrayfield and he scored a try during the famous win over Argentina in Buenos Aires in the summer of 2008.
It was over a year until he made his second appearance, reward for a solid season with the Reivers, when he came on as a replacement against Wales in the 2006 RBS 6 Nations. He was introduced from the bench again in the following match against England.
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 is now a 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. His 2005-2006 season was cut short by a knee injury in a Celtic League match against Glasgow in March.
Ross was named Border Reivers’ Player of the Year at the Scottish Rugby Awards Dinner in May 2006, a reflection of the fact that his endeavours are appreciated as much by his colleagues as by supporters.
Away from his Edinburgh duties, Ford has coached Kelso under-18s and still lives in his native Borders.