Captain Ford must master soundbite, coin toss and unify team
Right, today we compile a list of the duties performed by an international rugby captain.
I can't pretend to know Ross that well other than to say that he seems a straightforward, hard-working and somewhat quiet bloke. He doesn't appear to be the kind of man who would throw dwarves around a bar, nor dive from a boat about to dock in harbour.
So here's my list of an international team captain's roles - and your job is to add to it.
First, is to be the master of the sound bite. I just don't understand how modern players answer all the questions they are posed so politely.
Ford (pictured) must now invent answers to questions along the lines of what it felt like when Andy Robinson called him, how he feels for Brown, how big an honour it is for him, who are the captains he admires, what it will feel like to run out on to Murrayfield as captain, will captaincy divert him from his play, and so it goes on.
That'll be the biggest task, answering questions from people like me.
That will extend to pre- and post-match questions and possible features about him for TV, radio and the newspapers.
And, guess what? All along, he can't afford to put a foot wrong. Any little slip will be reported. I watch these blokes being interviewed and they know they just can't get it wrong.
And that brings me on to his second important role: saying precisely nothing. He needs to have diversionary tactics ready, including lines about how England are a great side and how Scotland will be concentrating solely on themselves. The reality is that Scotland will be looking as hard as possible for hints as to how England will play for the next 10 days or so.
Thirdly, he must be a unifying force in the squad and the team and be an ally of Robinson's. There will be other players making calls on the pitch, but when it comes to team huddle, kick for touch or post, and something needing said then he's the man from now on.
Fourthly, he should practice tossing a coin as there's nothing worse than if your captain gets it wrong. Why, I don't know, but it makes a difference.
And lastly, there's the speech at the post-match function.
Now, you think that all sounds easy. But can you imagine being a captain and all you really want to do is play? Especially for a hooker who has hundreds of lineout options drifting through his head at any one time and needs to be able to throw a ball like a dart when his pulse is at 180 beats per minute.
The choice of Ford suggests to me that Al Kellock is not seen as a man who will play 80 minutes and so this is a great statement of faith in the man from Kelso.
Ford is already a British Lion and is developing into the marauding loose player we all hoped he would be.
The role of international captain possibly doesn't sound like much, but it has diverted great men in the past from their role on the pitch and I hope Ford retains the 80 minutes on the pitch as the most important.
Good luck to him. Ya beauty, the Six Nations are just around the corner.
So, what do you make of Ford as captain, who have been the great captains, and what other roles does the captain perform?