Hogg named Scotland captain for Six Nations

Stuart Hogg was named Scotland captain on Wednesday as coach Gregor Townsend announced his 38-man squad for the Six Nations.

The Exeter Chiefs full-back, 27, takes over from Stuart McInally, who captained Scotland to a group-stage exit at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan and is also included in Townsend’s squad.

Hogg’s only previous cap as Scotland captain came in a 2018 defeat to the United States, but he has been vice-captain on numerous occasions and has made 72 appearances for his country.

He is the most experienced player in Townsend’s squad, which includes six uncapped players: Glasgow Warriors trio Tom Gordon, Kyle Steyn and Ratu Tagive; Edinburgh back-row pair Luke Crosbie and Nick Haining; and Gloucester’s Alex Craig.

Meanwhile, centre Matt Scott and prop Rory Sutherland return to represent their nation, having last played for Scotland in 2017 and 2016 respectively. Worcester Warriors’ Cornell du Preez also returns.

Edinburgh have 16 players in the squad, marking the greatest representation in Townsend’s group of any club.

Of Hogg’s appointment as captain, Townsend said: “Stuart is very passionate about playing for Scotland and he’s determined to do all he can to improve Scotland.

“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. He’s very well respected by our coaching and playing group, but that isn’t based on the accolades he’s earned. It’s more about what he does every day at training.

“He brings energy, is very accurate, he stays out longer to work on his game and more often than not he’s the loudest player on the field, guiding or congratulating his teammates. He really wanted to take on the honour and responsibility of being captain.”

Hogg said: “I feel very honoured to lead this team.

“I want the players to be emotional about the games, have a sense of pride in putting on the jersey and use that in the right way, so it comes out in how we defend and how we attack.”

Scotland’s Six Nations campaign begins on Feb. 1 when Townsend’s men take on Ireland.

Scotland 2020 Six Nations Squad

Forwards:

Simon Berghan (Edinburgh), Jamie Bhatti (Edinburgh), Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh), Fraser Brown (Glasgow), Alex Craig (Gloucester), Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh), Scott Cummings (Glasgow), Allan Dell (London Irish), Cornell du Preez (Worcester Warriors), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Jonny Gray (Glasgow), Tom Gordon (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:

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



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