Brown Plan for Fluency; Skipper's Afrikaans Language Skills Can Help Scots Talk the Talk at Murrayfield

Daily Mail (London), November 16, 2012 | Go to article overview

Brown Plan for Fluency; Skipper's Afrikaans Language Skills Can Help Scots Talk the Talk at Murrayfield


Byline: by ROB ROBERTSON

AFTER sharing a dressing room with eight South Africans at Saracens for over two years, it is understandable that Scotland captain Kelly Brown has picked up some handy phrases in their native Afrikaans.

Little did he realise, however, just how fortuitous learning a few choice sentences from the likes of Shalk Brits, John Smit, Neil de Kock and Ernest Joubert, would be.

So, when the heads go down in the set scrum as Scotland do battle with South Africa at Murrayfield tomorrow, the air is likely to turn a little blue if a strange tactical call is made in Afrikaans -- by Scotland skipper skipper Brown.

'Obviously, being down at Saracens there's a few South Africans and I've learned a little bit of Afrikaans from them. So if I get the chance to use their language at moments during the game, I will,' admitted Brown with a wry smile.

Clearly intent on employing every trick in the book to help his side to victory, he is determined to have the last word where his club mates are concerned, in whatever language or dialect. 'There has been a bit of banter in the Saracens dressing room with me and the South African guys before I left. Actually, I have learned mostly swear words from them, which actually might also come in useful on Saturday.

'With a bit of luck the South African pack will wonder what the heck is going on when they hear something they don't want to hear in Afrikaans,' added Brown. 'There is only one of my Saracens team-mates, Schalk Brits in the South African squad for Saturday, but he is on the bench, so their players out on the pitch may wonder where the shouts are coming from.'

Proud to be bestowed with the skipper role, Brown hopes to prove himself a smash-hit and ensure he keeps the captaincy for a long and successful spell, and it certainly appears that head coach Andy Robinson has chosen the right man to lead Scotland into battle.

He is equally determined to follow in the footsteps of his all-time hero Finlay Calder, who captained both Scotland and the Lions with distinction, and who presented Brown (right) with his jersey to mark his 50th cap before the All Blacks game.

'It was a great honour to receive my 50th international jersey from such a legend as Finlay and to join the ranks of Scotland captains alongside him,' said Brown.

'It was a surprise when he turned up, and a fantastic honour, as he is the sort of man I look up to and can learn from.

'Although I was fairly happy with my tactical decisions against the All Blacks, I'm always looking at ways to improve my captaincy and I realise I will have to step things up against South Africa.

'As soon as I was asked to take on the role, I was more than happy to take it up. …

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