Laidlaw: Leader to right-hand man

Wed, 06 Nov 2013 15:24
Kelly-brown-saracens Kelly-brown-scotland-630
Greig and I are a leadership team

Scotland skipper Kelly Brown believes there is no problem with his return to the side's captaincy, taking over from popular scrumhalf Greig Laidlaw.

The Saracens back row forward missed his country's final two games of their mid-year tour to South Africa after injuring his ankle in the tournament's opener with Samoa.

But he has been brought back in to lead the side out against Japan at Murrayfield on Saturday as the Scots get their November Test programme underway.

In his absence after the injury, which eventually required surgery, Laidlaw took over the captaincy and he impressed in that role.

First the Edinburgh scrumhalf performed bravely against the Springboks as the Scots lost 30-17 before kicking 17 points - including a last-gasp conversion - to secure a narrow 30-29 win over Italy.

But Brown, who will captain the side for the 10th time at the weekend, does not see his team-mate as a threat to his position.

"I see Greig and I as being a leadership team. It was great to see him taking on the role during the mid-year after my injury and he did a fantastic job," he said.

"I have no doubt we will speak as a pair and work as a team to lead Scotland as best we can.

"Without a shadow of a doubt it's better that we have two characters in the side prepared to be leaders rather than just one captain.

"But it's not just Greig, we have also got other leaders in the squad such as Ryan Grant. We all speak and discuss things to work out the best way to take the side forward."

Scotland lost their opening match of the mid-year tour 27-17 to the Samoans but the defeat was even more painful for Brown as he tore ankle ligaments.

"It was hard missing those last two games in South Africa, especially because the side played really well in those matches," said the skipper.

"I was very lucky in that I got my first injury in my eighth season as a pro. I have been lucky. But in our game unfortunately injuries are just part and parcel of life."

The Scots will follow Saturday's Test with tougher encounters against South Africa on November 17 and Australia six days later.