Edinburgh hooker Ross Ford admits he’s desperate to retain the Scotland captaincy against New Zealand on his Murrayfield stomping ground next month.
Scotland face the All Blacks on November 11, with matches against South Africa and Tonga to follow in the autumn Test series.
But it’s the match against the reigning world champions that is foremost in Ford’s mind – particularly as it will be the first opportunity national coach Andy Robinson will have to decide whether Ford or Kelly Brown will lead the side out.
Former captain Brown, who spent three seasons in the RaboDirect PRO12 with Glasgow Warriors before moving to Saracens in 2010, missed the Six Nations with a knee injury and Ford stepped up to the plate.
And while Scotland have never beaten New Zealand Ford claims he’d relish the challenge of putting that right.
“I would love to captain the team against New Zealand and be captain for the autumn Test series,” said Ford.
“Kelly is coming back but I’m quite happy with the job I’ve done up to now so we’ll see what happens. I feel fine with it now.
“I think you naturally learn things and I’ve had a run of games now and learned how to do things a wee bit differently, maybe not talk all the time and rely on boys who can take on other areas and share the workload.
“Not worrying about every aspect is important because you learn that we have good enough players and leaders, so the big thing is trusting guys to do their job and just be there to add polish, maybe. You improve with every game, so I’d say I am better now than when I first took the job on.
“We [Ford and Robinson] often have talks and he’s said he’s happy with what I’m doing, so it’s up to him what he wants to do come the autumn Tests. I’ve enjoyed it and would like to keep doing it but whatever he decides is best for the team I’m happy to go along with.
“This is a brilliant challenge. They are the best team in the world and you want to play them and beat them. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and an 80-minute performance but you go into games like that with a belief that you can win, so nothing changes really.”