Scots Brown ready for massive challenge

Kelly Brown believes the battle of the breakdown is going to be crucial to the outcome of Saturday’s Six Nations clash between Scotland and Ireland at Murrayfield.

As Scotland’s open-side flanker, Brown knows the pressure is going to be on him to deliver – especially as he will be going head-to-head with David Wallace, who has been one of the outstanding performers so far in this season’s competition.

“One of my first starts for the Borders was against Munster and I felt then that he [Wallace] was an exceptional player,” said the 24-year-old, who will be winning his 12th cap tomorrow.

“He was certainly the best I’d played against at that stage in my career, so I know it’s going to be a massive challenge.

“Obviously, you want to do the best you can for the team so I’ll be looking to put as much pressure on him as I can.”

Until this season, Brown had played most of his rugby at either blind-side flanker or number eight, and he freely admits he is still learning his trade as an open-side – but he is happy with the progress he is making in that specialist position.

“Of course, winning ball on the deck is one of the primary jobs of playing open-side flanker, so it is something I will be focusing on against Ireland,” he explained.

“But, in our last match against Italy, we were only turned over twice, which is the best stats we’ve had yet.

“So I really just want to keep on doing what I’ve been doing.

“I feel I’ve been getting better and better at the breakdown, and I just want to carry that on this week.”

Given the number of world class scavengers present throughout the Ireland team, Brown knows this is not a battle he can win without the support of his team-mates.

“I don’t think it’s a personal battle with Wallace at all, because they have so many players who can steal ball,” Brown said.

“Not only have they got three good back-rows who are highly effective on the deck, but they also have a stand-off and two centres who are also pretty useful at the breakdown as well.

“It will be a huge test and not just for me, but also for the whole back-row and for our backs.

“There are not many teams in the world like the Irish with two centres who are world-class at stealing ball.

“We must strive to emulate that.”

365 Digital

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