Stuart Hogg named Scotland captain for Six Nations


Edinburgh (AFP)

Stuart Hogg has been appointed as the new Scotland captain for the Six Nations, the Scottish Rugby Union announced on Wednesday.

The Exeter full-back takes over from Stuart McInally, who led the team out during last year's disappointing World Cup campaign.

With 72 caps Hogg is the most experienced player in the 38-man squad named by Gregor Townsend for this year's championship, which starts for Scotland with a trip to Dublin on February 1.

McInally was given the armband ahead of former skippers Greig Laidlaw and John Barclay for the World Cup in Japan.

But the Edinburgh hooker had a disappointing tournament and was left out of the starting line-up as the Dark Blues saw their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals evaporate with defeat to the hosts in their final pool match.

Laidlaw and Barclay have since announced their retirements from international action.

"Stuart is very passionate about playing for Scotland and he's determined to do all he can to improve Scotland," said head coach Gregor Townsend.

"He really cares about playing for his country, what the jersey represents and also getting the best out of his teammates.

"He's a really intelligent rugby player who is learning and improving with every season. He's very good at bringing others into the game and building relationships with those around him."

Townsend has handed a recall to centres Matt Scott, Huw Jones and Rory Hutchinson after all three were left out of the squad that travelled to the Far East in the autumn but Saracens' Duncan Taylor is a notable absentee.

There are also first call-ups for Gloucester lock Alex Craig, Glasgow wing Ratu Tagive, Glasgow flanker Tom Gordon and Edinburgh number eight Nick Haining.

Scotland squad

Forwards (21)

Simon Berghan (Edinburgh), Jamie Bhatti (Edinburgh), Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh), Fraser Brown (Glasgow), Alex Craig (Gloucester/ENG), Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh), Scott Cummings (Glasgow), Allan Dell (London Irish/ENG), Cornell du Preez (Worcester/ENG), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Tom Gordon (Glasgow), Jonny Gray (Glasgow), Nick Haining (Edinburgh), Stuart McInally (Edinburgh), Willem Nel (Edinburgh), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh), Ben Toolis (Edinburgh), George Turner (Glasgow), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh)

Backs (17)

Darcy Graham (Edinburgh), Chris Harris (Gloucester/ENG), Adam Hastings (Glasgow), Stuart Hogg (captain, Exeter/ENG), George Horne (Glasgow), Rory Hutchinson (Northampton/ENG), Sam Johnson (Glasgow), Huw Jones (Glasgow), Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh), Sean Maitland (Saracens/ENG), Byron McGuigan (Sale/ENG), Ali Price (Glasgow), Henry Pyrgos (Edinburgh), Finn Russell (Racing 92/FRA), Matt Scott (Edinburgh), Kyle Steyn (Glasgow), Ratu Tagive (Glasgow)