MELROSE man Kelly Brown will hope to become the first Scotland captain in 30 years to lead his team to victory over England at Twickenham.
The 30-year-old Saracens flanker will retain the captaincy for the 6 Nations opener on Saturday, despite Scotland losing all three games under his leadership in the EMC tests in November.
“As I said back in November, it’s a huge honour to captain Scotland,” Brown said.
“The job now, though, is to work with all the other players in the squad to deliver a performance to make the country proud this weekend.
“It’s a while since I’ve played against England. I missed out through injury in last year’s Six Nations and I was sidelined during the Rugby World Cup match in Auckland as well, so I’m really raring to go.”
Interim Scotland manager Scott Johnson said: “It was right and proper that the coaches considered captaincy at the same time as we were looking at selection of our squad for the England game.
“We believe Kelly has the qualities we’re looking for to captain Scotland. Captaincy is about deed in my book, not Churchillian oratory, and the knowledge and experience that Kelly brings to the test match arena is good for this team.”
Johnson will also name two vice-captains tomorrow, having already trimmed his training squad from 35 to 27.
All five Borderers - Brown, Geoff Cross, Ross Ford, Stuart Hogg and Greig Laidlaw - survived the cut and will be in contention for Saturday’s match, which kicks off at 4pm.
Backs: Max Evans (Castres), Stuart Hogg, Peter Horne, Ruaridh Jackson (all Glasgow Warriors), Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh Rugby), Sean Lamont, Sean Maitland, Peter Murchie, Henry Pyrgos (all Glasgow Warriors), Matt Scott and Tim Visser (both Edinburgh Rugby)
Forwards: Johnnie Beattie (Montpellier), Kelly Brown (Saracens), Geoff Cross, David Denton, Ross Ford, Grant Gilchrist (all Edinburgh), Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors), Richie Gray (Sale Sharks), Dougie Hall (Glasgow Warriors), Jim Hamilton (Gloucester), Robert Harley, Alastair Kellock, Moray Low, Pat MacArthur (all Glasgow Warriors), Euan Murray (Worcester Warriors) and Alasdair Strokosoch (Perpignan).