Scotland: Greig Laidlaw hints at World Cup captain decision

Greig Laidlaw
Laidlaw has scored an impressive 340 points in 39 international appearances

Greig Laidlaw has hinted that a decision may already have been made on Scotland's World Cup captaincy.

The Gloucester scrum-half led Vern Cotter's team during the autumn Tests and this year's Six Nations campaign.

"I have spoken to Vern [about the captaincy] and a couple of other things," Laidlaw revealed.

"I respect Vern and he respects me, and the players respect me as well. Whether I am captain or not, I will still be the same player and the same person."

The captaincy issue aside, 29-year-old Laidlaw faces competition for the number nine jersey from highly-rated Edinburgh youngster, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, and Henry Pyrgos, who helped Glasgow Warriors to the Pro12 title.

"Boys are used to competition these days, it is part of the game and it is part of professional rugby," he told BBC Scotland.

"It is good to see where you are up against other players in the squad and push yourself to try and get out in front.

"I think I have been playing well also. I played well in the Premiership for Gloucester, I won the Challenge Cup in my first season. I am only 29 and I still have a hell of a lot to give to the Scotland jersey."

Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (right) is one of the players pushing for Laidlaw's number nine jersey
Hidalgo-Clyne (right) is one of the players pushing for Laidlaw's number nine jersey

Scotland's will tackle Ireland, Italy (twice) and France during August and September as part of their tournament preparation, with their first pool match not taking place until 23 September.

"The long build-up is one of the toughest things, everyone is talking about the World Cup, but as players we have to take things day by day," added Laidlaw.

"Some boys will pick up knocks and injuries, but that is just part of the game.

"I think we need the long build-up to prepare because we had a poor Six Nations and we need to get things right and make sure that we get out of the group.

"The World Cup still seems a long way off for us as players. We have a week's rest now and we will keep ticking over and then come back in for another three-week block and another four-week block of games.

"Although the World Cup is so far away, as players you always have one eye on it because it's exciting. We all just want to get there in one piece really."

Scotland pair Tommy Seymour (left) and Ross Ford make their way out to the training pitches at Murrayfield
Scotland will wear a new kit at the World Cup

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