Scotland's Ross Ford demands improvements ahead of Six Nations clash with Italy
Hooker Ross Ford has warned the rest of the Scotland pack to expect another test of their physicality and commitment.
Last Updated: 06/02/13 10:40am
Ford comes into the starting XV, replacing the injured Dougie Hall, for the Murrayfield showdown against an Azzurri side sure to be on a high after their remarkable victory over France.
"We won't get it any easier this weekend," warned the 28-year-old. "Italy have a brilliant pack so we need to make sure we front up in the areas England exposed against us.
"We've been working in training this week, trying to make sure that doesn't happen again.
"We need to put in a performance in those areas that allows us to play the way we want to play, on the front foot."
The Scots might have struggled at the breakdown against England but it wasn't all doom and gloom, full-back Stuart Hogg had a fantastic game as did wingers Tim Visser and Sean Maitland on debut.
Ford added: "All three of those guys showed that when they are in space, they are very dangerous.
"The more we can get them in space with the ball, the better for us it will be.
"It's great to have that choice and to hit them as many times as we can. We will try our very best to do that as often as possible on Saturday."
After missing out on the starting XV last week Ford is desperate to take this opportunity to cement the starting hooker slot under head coach Scott Johnson.
He added: "With Dougie's injury, I was fortunate to be given an opportunity to stake a claim. "It's hard on Dougie, with him getting that injury, but I have got an opportunity so I just have to take it.
"It's my job to go out and be full-blooded. But now I just need to go out and do it."