Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill paid tribute to Ross Ford yesterday after Scotland’s most capped player was among a group of players released by the club.

Fellow internationals Allan Dell, whose move to London Irish had already been announced, Luke Hamilton, who could not agree terms after being offered a new deal and Tom Brown are also departing, along with scrum-halves Sean Kennedy and Nathan Fowles and Fijian back-row Senitiki Nayolo, who has failed to make an impact since joining last summer, but Ford’s departure had particular resonance given his length of service, having spent 16 years in the professional game with Edinburgh and, before that, the long defunct Border Reivers.

“He is the most capped Scotsman of all time. 110 caps should be respected,” said Cockerill, also a former international hooker. “He is a good man. He works very hard. There is a lot to like about Ross but hopefully he will assimilate into whatever he does next, whether that is playing or normal life or he has to come out of the bubble of professional rugby hopefully he will find something that suits him. He is looking at his options, around whether that means to play on, what options there are, what other possibilities there are outside of playing. He has been in the game a long time. He has a lot to offer both on and off the field so hopefully he will get something that suits his ambitions and family life and all those things. We wish him well.”

Cockerill said the club has largely completed its own recruitment but admitted that could change, depending on international commitments.

“We’ll see how many of our forward pack go to the World Cup,” he said.“If they all go we might need some reinforcements. It’s always an on-going conversation because we want to be competitive for the first five to seven games of the season when guys are away and there’s rest periods post-World Cup. There’s a lot of variables.

“If we need to bring guys in from outside we will. We’re not a development team, we need to be winning in the early part of the season when you’ve probably got double figures of your squad missing. The first chunk is a third of the season, so we need to be competitive in that period.”