Scotland: Steve Tandy hails new captain Jamie Ritchie and relishes Autumn Nations Series, which begins against Wallabies

Adam Kyriacou
Jamie Ritchie Scotland Six Nations 2022 - PA.jpg

Scotland assistant coach Steve Tandy is confident Jamie Ritchie will do a “fantastic job” as captain during the upcoming Autumn Nations Series.

Ritchie, 26, has followed up being named skipper for club side Edinburgh this season with this incredible achievement as he takes over from Stuart Hogg.

While it might have been viewed as a surprise decision by head coach Gregor Townsend in some quarters, Ritchie has the full confidence of Tandy and co.

People follow him

“He will do a fantastic job, he’s super competitive,” Tandy revealed. “I think he leads and people follow him, and he’s an outstanding rugby player as well.

“He plays really well in a Scotland shirt. It’s a great opportunity for him to lead his country and to start at home as well.

“He’s embraced it so far, he doesn’t change a lot, he wants to drive standards anyway.

“He’s maturing, and he’s around lots of experienced guys and he doesn’t need to change too much. He leads anyway, and he’ll naturally grow and embrace the moment.”

Scotland are preparing to tackle Australia this weekend before matches against Fiji, New Zealand and Argentina at Murrayfield follow over the next month.

Tandy admits he’s “unbelievably excited” about his squad making progress in the autumn as they look to fire in next year’s Six Nations and Rugby World Cup.

“Getting the boys back yesterday was brilliant, just getting connected again and catching up,” the coach said on Tuesday. “Then get into our processes, our first day’s training today had great energy.

Four huge Tests

“I’m excited for the next four Tests coming up. It’s about building on summer stuff as well. We didn’t win that series, but there was a lot of good things that went on.

“It’s just building, rather than a fresh start, just building momentum against outstanding teams. It’s great to get back to Murrayfield in front of full houses and we’re excited to grow our game over the autumn period.”

Looking ahead to the Wallabies clash on Saturday, defence coach Tandy revealed he is aware of the threat the opposition will pose in their year-end opener.

“When you look through the autumn games there’s a little bit of scary things from everyone, whether it be Fiji or New Zealand – but Australia, there’s lots of variety in their set-piece attack and some powerful ball-carriers that can really cause damage, especially close to your goal-line,” he said.

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