Stuart McInally casts doubt on future as Scotland captain as Edinburgh hooker looks ahead to Six Nations

Stuart McInally in action for Scotland in the World Cup
Stuart McInally in action for Scotland in the World Cup
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McInally endured a torrid time as skipper during the World Cup and isn't sure if he will hang on to the captaincy during next year's Six Nations

Stuart McInally has revealed he isn’t sure if he will continue as Scotland captain during next year’s Six Nations.

The 29-year-old Edinburgh hooker endured a torrid World Cup in Japan, with the skipper losing his place to Fraser Brown for the final pool-stage game with the hosts, which ended in a tournament-ending 28-21 loss to the hosts.

McInally was a visibly broken man in the wake of 27-3 opening defeat by Ireland which had the Scots immediately on the back foot.

The hooker was given a four-week break after Japan and now feels refreshed but admitted the national captaincy hasn’t been spoken about with coach Gregor Townsend since.

“We have talked since the World Cup. We have had conversations but nothing about the captaincy,” said McInally.

Greig Laidlaw, the 34-year-old scrum-half who unlike veteran flanker John Barclay has not announced international retirement, resumed the captaincy in that Japan game.

Asked if he would want the captaincy again, McInally said: “I’d want to speak to Gregor, if that conversation came up I’d think about it, but I haven’t thought about it yet.”

Speaking on a visit to his former school George Watson’s College, where he was Head Boy, McInally discussed what unfolded as a bruising World Cup experience for him personally.

“It was an experience that I’d never had to handle before and the pressure was on us straight away after the Ireland match because we played so poorly,” he said.

“Each game became a ‘must win’ rather than us trying to build on a good win against Ireland, so it was tough.”