Jamie Ritchie to lead Scotland in the Autumn Internationals

Jamie Ritchie has played 32 times for Scotland
Jamie Ritchie has played 32 times for Scotland
©Steve Haag

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has named Edinburgh back-row Jamie Ritchie for the upcoming autumn internationals.

Ritchie will take over the captaincy from Stuart Hogg, who makes a return after being rested for the summer tour of Argentina.

The 26-year-old has played 32 Tests for the Dark Blues since his debut in 2018 and has captained his country in 2021 against Tonga alongside Ali Price. He is currently the co-captain for his club Edinburgh.

The 40-man squad includes Adam Hastings as one of the fly-half with Blair Kinghorn and Ross Thompson also in it but the notable omission is of Finn Russell.

Russell is unavailable to play for Scotland for the first game against Australia as it falls outside the international window but Townsend has decided to opt out of his services for the matches against Fiji, New Zealand, and Argentina as well.

He was amongst the six players dropped from Scotland's final game of the Six Nations against Ireland for breaching team protocol but Townsend insisted that the incident had nothing to do with his exclusion.

"It's about form and consistency," said Townsend.

"The 10s that are in our squad, and in particular Adam Hastings, his form has been very good this season. We want to reward that.

"For Finn we want him to respond to this challenge and show regular form and consistency for his club."

Jack Dempsey, who has played 14 Tests for Australia is part of the Scotland squad under the newly introduced World Rugby rules that allows players to change sides following a three-year stand down period. He is among the three uncapped players in the squad along with Murphy Walker and Stafford McDowall also from the Warriors.

Scotland squad:

Forwards: Ewan Ashman, Josh Bayliss, Jamie Bhatti, Dave Cherry, Andy Christie, Luke Crosbie, Scott Cummings, Jack Dempsey, Matt Fagerson, Zander Fagerson, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Richie Gray, Nick Haining, WP Nel, Jamie Ritchie (c), Pierre Schoeman, Sam Skinner, Rory Sutherland, George Turner, Murphy Walker, Hamish Watson

Backs: Mark Bennett, Darcy Graham, Chris Harris, Adam Hastings, Stuart Hogg, George Horne, Damien Hoyland, Blair Kinghorn, Stafford McDowall, Rufus McLean, Ali Price, Cameron Redpath, Ollie Smith, Kyle Steyn, Ross Thompson, Sione Tuipulotu, Duhan van der Merwe, Ben White