Jamie Ritchie on the prospect of becoming next Scotland captain - 'If I get asked, it would be amazing'

Jamie Ritchie would regard it as an “amazing” honour were he asked to captain Scotland, but insisted yesterday that his priority had always been simply turning out for the national side.

The 25-year-old Edinburgh forward is set to make his comeback from long-term injury next month when the capital club play two pre-season friendlies, and provided he hits the ground running he could well emerge as a candidate to lead Scotland in this year’s Autumn Internationals.

Stuart Hogg has held office for much of the past three years, but did not go on the summer tour to South America.

Ritchie’s Edinburgh team-mate Grant Gilchrist was skipper for the first two Tests against Argentina, then Hamish Watson replaced his club-mate for the third and final match, which Scotland lost 34-31 - a result that meant they also lost the series.

National coach Gregor Townsend said last week that he had not decided who should be captain when New Zealand, Australia, Argentina and Fiji all visit BT Murrayfield.

Ritchie said: “If I get asked, it would be amazing. It’s not something I’m going to hang my hat on and be like: ‘Yeah, I definitely want to do it or else I’m not playing’.

“When I was a kid, I didn’t dream about being captain of Scotland. I just dreamed of playing for Scotland and that, for me, was always the goal.

“If you get offered that honour of being captain, then great. I think we have loads of good leaders. You could probably pick from five or six boys who have done a good job.

Jamie Ritchie (right), with Edinburgh team-mate Wes Goosen, at the launch of a commercial partnership with Uhuru Rum. (Photo by Euan Cherry / SNS Group)

“I thought Mish (Watson) coming in and doing it in Argentina was awesome. I was really chuffed for him.

“It’s always been something that I've enjoyed around the game, the leadership aspect. Captaining teams at school and age grade was always something that I felt I was OK at.

“I guess it is something that you have naturally, but it’s also something that needs to be worked on. It’s something that I enjoy, whether as a captain or not as a captain. If something needs to be said, that’s leadership.”

The captain is often the player who bears the brunt of any criticism when things go wrong, but Ritchie insisted that would hold no fears for him.

“Would it put me off it? No, I don’t think it would. In the positions I’m in now, you’re under scrutiny anyway. I don’t see my own value based around what people would say on social media.

“My self-worth comes from me, the people I care about, my family and my team-mates. So long as they’re not the ones who are saying whatever expletives people would use online, I’m not really too worried.”

Jamie Ritchie was speaking at the launch of Edinburgh’s new sponsorship agreement with Uhuru Rum, who have become the club’s kit sponsors and official rum partners. The capital-based independent bottlers have signed a two-year sponsorship deal and will have their logo featured on the club’s home and alternate Macron match kit, which is set to be revealed later this summer.

As part of the sponsorship, Uhuru Rum will also develop a new rum cocktail bar based in the DAM Health Stadium fan zone on match days.

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