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Stuart Hogg appointed Scotland captain for Six Nations

Exeter full-back takes over from World Cup skipper Stuart McInally.

Stuart Hogg has been appointed as the new Scotland captain for the Six Nations.

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

With 71 caps, the two-time British and Irish Lion is the most experienced player in the 38-man squad named by Gregor Townsend for this year’s championship, which start for Scotland with a trip to Dublin on February 1.

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 team-mates.

“He’s a really intelligent rugby player who’s 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.”

McInally was given the armband ahead of former skippers Greig Laidlaw and John Barclay as the team flew out to 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 and Townsend has now decided it is time for Hogg to take over.

Townsend has also 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, Warriors flanker Tom Gordon and Edinburgh number eight Nick Haining.