Charles Orr examines the career of Scotland captain Kelly Brown
Last Updated: January 28, 2013 2:54pm
Kelly Brown: A talisman for Scotland
Saturday's Calcutta Cup clash with England will end a 12-month wait for Scotland captain Kelly Brown.
The Saracens flanker was all set to skipper his country in the corresponding fixture last year, only for a knee injury to deny him the opportunity.
It was the start of a turbulent year for the Scots that saw them finish with the Six Nations wooden spoon but then secure a 9-6 victory against Australia. This was the first time Scotland had beat the Wallabies away since 1982.
From there, though, Scotland slumped to three successive losses in the autumn - with the defeat to Tonga bringing an end to Andy Robinson's rein as coach.
However the decision by Scott Johnson, the man handed the job of replacing Robinson in the interim, to retain Edinburgh-born Brown as captain is hardly surprising considering he has established himself as one of the side's talisman over the years.
Brown came through the national age-groups on his way to representing the senior side, with the 31-year-old the last player to captain the Scottish Schools in 2000.
In 2005 he would make a try-scoring debut for the national side against Romania in Bucharest - and since then he has won 52 caps.
The tough-tackling flanker started out his club career at Melrose RFC before making the move to professional side Border Reivers in 2005.
When the Reivers disbanded two years later, Brown joined the Glasgow Warriors where he gained notable acclaim alongside fellow back-rowers John Barclay and Johnnie Beattie, otherwise known as "the Killer Bees".
His form at Glasgow saw Brown rewarded with regular recognition in the international side; including being part of the team to qualify for the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals in 2007.
Brown headed south of the border to join Saracens in 2010, where his maiden season saw him play a pivotal role in the club's Aviva Premiership title success.
On the international stage he was part of the Scotland side that recorded an historic series win in Argentina in 2010, before going on to beat South Africa 21-17 later that year.
A disappointing World Cup campaign, though, saw Scotland fail to progress from the pool stages for the first time - and Brown would have to wait a year before playing for his country again.
But having missed out on leading the side in the Six Nations and in the summer, Brown was finally handed the captaincy for the autumn Tests against New Zealand, South Africa and Tonga.
However Brown - and Scotland - will be keen to put those losses behind them to mount a serious challenge in the Six Nations.