Blair Kinghorn has been tipped to fill Finn Russell’s boots and lead Scotland’s attack this autumn.
The Edinburgh Rugby stand-off will compete with Adam Hastings and Ross Thompson to wear the number 10 jersey over the next month, with Russell left out by head coach Gregor Townsend.
Kinghorn only converted to the playmaker role at the start of last season but has started the last four full Scotland tests in the position.
With all eyes on the 25-year-old in the absence of Russell, Grant Gilchrist, Kinghorn’s teammate for club and country, said he was ready to handle the responsibility,
Gilchrist, who captained Scotland on their summer tour of South America, said: “I see it day-in, day-out with Blair.
“The growth in his game at 10 with Edinburgh – he is one of the most influential players and characters in our squad.
“We rely on him heavily and when he applies that to this [Scotland] environment I’ve no doubt in his ability to lead and to lead the attack.
“He can boss the game as a 10 and his ability speaks for itself.”
Scotland lost three of their five games in the Six Nations this year and came away from Argentina with a 2-1 series loss.
Townsend said the team cannot allow their performances to dip as low as they have done at points during 2022, and Gilchrist pointed to in-game decision making as a key factor.
The 32-year-old second row said: “We have looked at our response to things going wrong in a game.
“There is no such thing as a perfect 80 minutes but the best teams bounce back, they don’t piggyback mistakes and don’t go from error to error.
“That is about identifying when things go wrong, flicking that switch to make the right decisions at the right times.
“It might to simplify the game a bit. The second test in Argentina was a lot more like that – we weren’t at our best but we simplified the game, carried hard at the start of the second half and our contact work was good and we scored a really good try.
“It wasn’t flash, all-court attack and we have the players in the room with the ability to do that.
“But we have to find those solutions in the game by identifying it and changing it on the pitch.
“That’s how we grow as a team – from the senior guys but also from everyone on the pitch.”
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