Fraser McKenzie stresses on discipline as he takes over Edinburgh captaincy

New Edinburgh skipper Fraser McKenzie has vowed to help his side clean up their act
New Edinburgh skipper Fraser McKenzie has vowed to help his side clean up their act

Fraser Mckenzie insisted that improving the discipline of Edinburgh will be his top priority as he takes over the club's captaincy for the remainder of the ongoing season.

The 29-year-old has been handed over the reins by head coach Richard Cockerill after the club's decision to suspend Magnus Bradbury, who suffered a head injury while on a night out drinking that forced him to miss the European Challenge Cup encounter against London Irish last weekend.

Even though Bradbury has returned back to training and is expected to involve in the team soon, his mishap proved costly as he was stripped of the captaincy. But that is not the end of Cockerill's woes, with Scotland flanker John Hardie also at the centre of a club investigations over reported allegations of cocaine use.

Taking over the leadership at a crucial phase of the season, McKenzie urged that the players will need to take responsibility especially dealing with off-field behaviour.

"I'm not saying we had bad culture or poor standards but I think every team can get better, and every team can drive forward," said the six foot six inch second-rower. "We've got a very young team and I think that's maybe one of our problems.

"A lot of the senior players have either left or maybe not stepped up to the plate. I want to drive that forward on and off the field.

"Cockers has come in and discipline is a massive thing with the team, knowing right from wrong. I think everybody in this team knows right from wrong. To realise you are in a position of high standing, you're going to be in the media, you're going to be in the news if anything goes wrong.

"It's about your decision-making. If you want to play at the highest level, you have to take that, it comes hand-in-hand. There's massive responsibility. I think we've got a very talented squad, very talented players and there's no reason we can't be competing at the top end of the league in time.

"It's maybe not the best circumstances for me to be named captain but I'll take it. I've been at the club many years and it's a privilege to be a captain. I'll do the best job I can.

"If I see anybody acting out of line, or I hear about it, then I'll step in. It's not just Cockers' responsibility. But I don't think I'll have to do that often. It's not a team that's got a culture issue, we've not got a standards issue. It's individual mistakes and it happens on and off the field."

McKenzie also backed Bradbury to bounce back from the setback on what was his debut season as full-time captain of the club.

"Maggie will come back into the team this week, he'll be a productive member of the team. I'm sure he'll come back and be captain someday, definitely. Whether that's sooner or later, I'm sure he'll do his job to the best of his ability."