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Brown will lead by example in Ireland clash

Scotland captain Kelly Brown says he is not the type of captain to issue a rousing team talk to his colleagues - but insists he will do his talking on the pitch against Ireland this Sunday.

The Saracens flanker finally registered his first win since taking over the armband in this month's 34-10 RBS 6 Nations success against Italy after four defeats.

His third outing was a shock 21-15 defeat to Tonga at Pittodrie in the autumn internationals, a result that cost former head coach Andy Robinson his job.

But since then, Brown has grown into the role and he revealed he has sought advice from former Scotland captains like Jason White and Gary Armstrong, as well as England's Steve Borthwick and South African World Cup-winning captain John Smit.

Their input was crucial to helping the 30-year-old - who suffers from a speech impediment - form his own style of leadership based on deeds, rather than great oratory.

Brown, who will lead out the team for the sixth time against Ireland on Sunday, told Press Association Sport: "I enjoy the role. Over the years I've been a senior player and it was a huge honour to be asked to take the captaincy.

"It didn't start how I would have liked but I am enjoying it and very proud to be captain of this team. We now need to make sure we make the nation proud on Sunday."

Asked if the captaincy changed the way he played or prepared, Brown added: "Well I definitely do think about things a little more, think about what I'm going to say at certain times. But captaincy for me is about making sure I am playing well. It's about concentrating on my own game, as opposed to giving all these great speeches.

"I've been trying to lead by example. I've been led by some great captains over the years and the best ones did just that.

"I phoned a few former Scotland captains and I also had a chat with Steve Borthwick down at Saracens and a few others like John Smit, Jason White and Gary Armstrong, because I wanted to get their take on things.

"I wanted to find out what they did and if I could learn from that then that was great. That's now what I'm trying to do."

This month's win over Italy was the Scots' first Six Nations victory in almost two years.

It has raised hopes that the team can bounce back from last year's wooden spoon disaster to mount a title challenge - but Brown is not getting carried away just yet.

He said: "The Italy match gave us a really big lift, but it's only one game and we need to keep on working hard. As a player it is great that the nation are excited and proud of us and we need to take a bit of confidence from that win - but we also need to learn and keep on improving.

"As a squad there is no danger of us getting carried away with one match; it was our first win in two years. So we need to bring in a bit of realism.

"But as a squad we are very grounded and the boys are working hard. I just want us to keep on improving. If we can do that and nail a really high level of performance on Sunday, then we can put Ireland under pressure."

Declan Kidney, the Irish coach, has travelled to Scotland missing five of the team that pushed England so close in their 12-6 defeat in Dublin.

The 127-time capped Ronan O'Gara, meanwhile, has been forced to accept a place on the bench as his form for Munster and at international level continues to disappoint, with Ulster's Paddy Jackson taking his place.

Brown, though, insists the visitors will come to Edinburgh packing serious quality.

"There's no doubt Ireland will be hurting having lost their last match against England at home," he said. "Of the guys they have brought in, while they may not have a huge number of caps, this season they have all been playing incredibly well in the Heineken Cup, which is pretty much international standard, so we're expecting a very tough game.

"I've been watching Ulster play all year and there's no doubt that Paddy Jackson has been absolutely central to their success, so they are fortunate as a nation to have so many good stand-offs."

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