Scotland and British Lions hooker Ross Ford will start his 100th appearance for Edinburgh Rugby when the club takes on Zebre at the Stadio XXV Aprile tomorrow night (Friday 29 April, kick-off 7pm local time, 6pm GMT) – live on BBC ALBA.
Ford’s appearance landmark will see him edge past the number made by interim Edinburgh Rugby head coach, Stevie Scott, during his tenure as hooker from 1998 to 2002.
He said: “Ross [Ford] has been an exceptional servant to Edinburgh and Scottish Rugby, keeping himself in immense mental and physical condition throughout a very distinguished career to date.
He’s a fantastic character and role model to young players and shows the relentless dedication you would expect from someone who has won 69 caps, captained his country and toured with the British Lions.
“It’s great to have someone of his calibre reach such a milestone at the club.”
The Borderer is one of four Scotland internationalists to return to the front-line following last weekend’s 14-8 win over Ulster at Murrayfield.
The remaining three are in the back division, with Tim Visser, Matt Scott and captain Greig Laidlaw starting at wing, centre and scrum-half respectively.
Perry Parker’s inclusion is the only other change to the pack, as a replacement for Grant Gilchrist, who is absent because of a family bereavement.
Looking ahead to tomorrow night’s clash with Zebre, Scott added: “The players and management were delighted to get a great win over a high-flying Ulster side last weekend, but we haven’t dwelt on it. We reviewed the game as normal and got back to work.
“What we’ve focused on is the importance of following up that performance and result tomorrow night.
“Training has once again been, focused, vocal and aggressive, and we arrived in Italy last night (Wednesday) to be fresh and free of travel fatigue for today’s final training session.
“We set the bar for an Edinburgh Rugby performance last week and we are here to improve on that showing and continue our efforts to end this season on a high.”
Stadio XXV Aprile, Friday 29 April, kick-off 7pm local time, 6pm GMT
15 Greig Tonks
14 Lee Jones
13 Matt Scott
12 Ben Atiga
11 Tim Visser
10 Piers Francis
9 Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN
1 Allan Jacobsen
2 Ross Ford
3 Willem Nel
4 Perry Parker
5 Sean Cox
6 Stuart McInally
7 Ross Rennie
8 Netani Talei
16 Steven Lawrie
17 John Yapp
18 Geoff Cross
19 Robert McAlpine
20 Hamish Watson
21 Sean Kennedy
22 Harry Leonard
23 Tom Brown
Players unavailable: Alex Allan (ankle), Ben Cairns (knee), Nick De Luca (suspended), David Denton (knee), Jamie Farndale (leg), Grant Gilchrist (family bereavement), Roddy Grant (wrist), Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (ankle), Chris Leck (shoulder) Lewis Niven (bicep), George Turner (hip), Alun Walker (hamstring), Sep Visser (shoulder), Izak van der Westhuizen (ankle).