Head coach Andy Robinson is restoring Kellock to the captain’s role which he performed with distinction on last summer’s tour to Argentina, where Scotland posted a historic 2-0 series success.
Robinson declared: “Al’s leadership on and off the field was a key element to our success in Argentina and, since his return from knee surgery, the quality of both his personal displays and the way he has galvanised the Glasgow side, especially over the last month, has been really pleasing.
“I have spoken about the importance of broadening the influence of leaders throughout the side and Rory Lawson, Mike Blair and Chris Cusiter have all led the side well.”
Kellock made his Championship debut against France in 2006 and he will lead Scotland in the competition for the first time against the same opponents at the Stade de France a week on Saturday.
In addition to the victories in South America last summer, Kellock also took on the captaincy when Chris Cusiter was injured at Murrayfield against Australia in the autumn of 2009 and piloted Scotland to that epic win – the first over the Wallabies in 27 years.
Scotland go into their match against France in 11 days’ time having won five of their last six cap internationals, a sequence which has seen them triumph in Ireland for the first time in 12 years and defeat world champions South Africa en route to rising to seventh in the IRB’s world rankings.
Kellock, who has won 27 caps, told www.scottishrugby.org today: “To get the chance to captain Scotland for the opening Six Nations game is huge.
“I was delighted to make the squad, especially after being out for almost six months with my knee after Argentina, and now to be named as captain, is a real highlight, particularly with the competition for places.”
Kellock, who first experienced captaincy in the age-group teams at the Allan Glen’s club, went on to skipper Edinburgh, his first professional side, and Glasgow Warriors.
He contends that he learned much from Todd Blackadder, the former All Blacks captain, during his stint with Edinburgh. “When (Todd) got to a point in his career when he was 27 or 28 he said to himself ‘What are you waiting for?’. You are not going to get anywhere in rugby by sitting back and saying: ‘what if’. That has stuck with me quite a lot,” he explained.
You can hear a full audio interview with Kellock by logging on to www.scottishrugby.org
The Scotland team to play France will be announced next Tuesday (1 February) and first details will appear on that website and its sister website www.scotlandrugbyteam.org
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