Glasgow back-rower Rory Darge and Bathtub stand-off Finn Russell have been named as Scotland’s new co-captains for the upcoming Six Nations.
It has additionally been revealed that free-scoring wing Darcy Graham has been dominated out of the opening two matches by harm.
Jamie Ritchie had been the skipper since changing Stuart Hogg within the function for the 2022 Autumn Collection however, with the Edinburgh flanker having been hindered by shoulder and jaw accidents following final 12 months’s World Cup, Gregor Townsend has opted to make a change to be able to “additional develop and develop the management inside the squad”.
Each Russell, 31, and Darge, 23, have earlier expertise of captaining the group in Ritchie’s absence.
The talismanic Russell, who has been in spectacular kind since shifting to Bathtub from Racing 92, is prone to lead the Scots within the opening match away to Wales as 23-year-old Darge is predicted to overlook the early a part of the championship as he battles to get well from a knee harm sustained on the finish of December.
“Appointing co-captains for this 12 months’s Guinness Six Nations permits us to additional develop and develop the management inside the squad,” head coach Townsend instructed Scottish Rugby on Sunday morning.
“Rory and Finn captained Scotland final summer season and produce completely different strengths and types of management to the desk.
“Each are extremely revered inside our squad and have been a part of our management group for a while.
“I am positive they’ll thrive with this duty and lean on our different leaders to drive sure points of our preparation, mindset and efficiency.”
Ritchie was sidelined for a month after the World Cup on account of a shoulder harm sustained within the first half of the pool-stage defeat by Eire in October. After returning in mid-November for six Edinburgh matches, the back-rower suffered a jaw harm within the win over Glasgow on December 30.
Townsend mentioned final week he was undecided on the captaincy and wanted to see Ritchie “put his finest foot ahead” in Friday’s Problem Cup match away to Scarlets.
Nonetheless, the 27-year-old was restricted to a second-half substitute look as he made his return to motion.
Russell’s appointment as captain is especially vital because the influential fly-half has had a strained relationship with Townsend at occasions prior to now.
Russell was minimize from the squad forward of the 2020 Six Nations after he missed a coaching session following a late-night ingesting session and he was additionally controversially omitted from the preliminary squad for the 2022 autumn Checks as Townsend appeared intent on phasing him out earlier than accidents prompted him to recall the previous Glasgow fly-half halfway by the sequence.
“Taking part in for Scotland is a large honour and to co-captain the facet is a privilege and one thing I’m happy with,” Russell mentioned.
“We have now such a gifted squad and to guide them alongside Rory represents a large alternative. I am unable to wait to get began with this 12 months’s championship.”
In the identical replace that confirmed the change of captaincy, Scottish Rugby revealed that Edinburgh wing Graham will miss the opening two matches away to Wales and at residence to France with a quad harm.
The 26-year-old – Scotland’s second highest try-scorer of all time – has been changed within the squad by Ross McCann, a 26-year-old wing who performed for Scotland U20s earlier than turning into a full-time Scotland Sevens participant.