Sport Rugby

Saturday 16 December 2017

Laidlaw plays down full-time captaincy talk ahead of Boks collision

Stand-in Scotland skipper Greig Laidlaw insists he has no plans to take the role from regular captain Kelly Brown on a permanent basis.

Edinburgh scrum-half Laidlaw will lead out the side for tomorrow's autumn Test with South Africa after the Saracens flanker was rested by head coach Scott Johnson.

The Australian tactician has never confirmed Brown as his permanent skipper, despite usually bestowing the honour upon him, and will turn to Laidlaw for the second time this year this weekend. However, Laidlaw has stressed he has no long-term ambitions to claim the armband for himself.

"I've spoken a lot with Kelly about captaining the side and he's been there for me this week, just like I'm there for him when he's captain," he said.

"He's not playing this week and I've got the honour of leading out Scotland, but Kelly is the current captain of this squad, so we will just see how it goes."

Laidlaw has faced the Springboks twice during his 22 outings for Scotland, losing 21-10 a year ago in Edinburgh before coming close in Nelspruit in June before ultimately crashing 30-17.

"We need to learn why we have fallen short a little in these last two games," said Laidlaw. "We aren't underestimating the size of the challenge. South Africa are not ranked second in the world for nothing."

Scotland v South Africa,

Live, tomorrow, BBC1, 3.0

Irish Independent

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