Kelly Brown talks about Scotland captaincy ahead of his international return
Scotland skipper Kelly Brown insists he never feared losing the captaincy to scrum-half Greig Laidlaw.
Last Updated: 06/11/13 12:19pm
The Saracens back-row forward missed the Dark Blues' final two games of their summer tour to South Africa after injuring his ankle in the quadrangular tournament's opener with Samoa.
But he is now back to lead the side out against Japan in the first of the Scots' three Autumn Tests at Murrayfield on Saturday.
However, while Brown underwent surgery which ruled him out of action until the end of September, Laidlaw took over the captain's duties and put in two fine displays.
First the Edinburgh half-back performed bravely against the Springboks in a 30-17 defeat, before kicking 17 points - including a last-gasp conversion - to secure a 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.
He said: "I see Greig and I as being a leadership team. It was great to see him taking on the role during the summer after my injury and he did a fantastic job.
"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 summer 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 always wanted to be involved in games like that but I all I could do was focus on working hard on rehab. I'm now fit again and it's a huge honour to be asked to captain the side again.
"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.
"It wasn't ideal but I just accepted that it was something I've got to go through from time to time.
"I'm not great watching games but in a funny way I actually enjoy the rehab process because I am quite a stubborn guy and I enjoy the challenge of that."