Ford to stay with Edinburgh

Date published: March 1 2016

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Edinburgh have announced that Scotland and British and Irish Lions hooker, Ross Ford, has signed a three-year deal which will see him play with the capital club until May 2019.

The 97-times Scotland cap has featured on 152 occasions for Edinburgh since joining the club in the 2007/08 season.

Ford said: "I've enjoyed the last eight years with the club and that's a big reason for staying. I like the city, the atmosphere at the club and the group of players we've got together.

"Since Alan came in, I feel he's really done a lot of great work as we're in a really good place at the moment; last year's Challenge Cup and our current league position are examples of that, as we're still challenging for a top four place. I respect Alan as a coach and think he's good for the team.

"We've got a lot of talented young boys coming through the system, and the club has a long term plan which I feel is really starting to come to fruition.”

The deal will see Ford continue his well-established front-row relationship with WP Nel and Alasdair Dickinson – who also put pen to paper to sign a further two-year deal with the club earlier this term – as well as using his influence and experience to aid the development of up-and-coming front-row players including recent re-signings Stuart McInally, Simon Berghan and Allan Dell.

"There is currently three Edinburgh hookers with the Scotland squad, with Stuart McInally and George Turner involved, and that's great to see as it's an area we've got a lot of strength and depth in," he added.

"I enjoy working with these young players, and hopefully myself, along with the likes of Dicko [Dickinson] and WP [Nel], can help these boys make the transition into the senior roles at club and international level.

"It's been great to work alongside Dicko and WP over the past few seasons, and the pack is going from strength to strength. I think the results have proven that Edinburgh has a strong forward pack, which is credit to all the boys in the squad.

"I want to help get Edinburgh to where we deserve to be as a club.”

Head coach Alan Solomons said: "It is fantastic news for the club that Fordy has agreed to stay on. He's a world-class player who makes an invaluable contribution both on and off the field.

"In addition, he's a top class man who provides excellent leadership. On a personal note, it is great to be able to continue working with him.”

Ford becomes 15th player to sign a deal with the Murrayfield club this season, as the club looks to freshen-up its squad ahead of the 2016/17 season.

He becomes the sixth front-row player and ninth member of the pack to commit to the capital outfit for at least another season. Eight of those pack members are Scottish qualified or have Scotland international caps.

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