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Barclay natural choice to replace Laidlaw, says Cotter

RBS SIX NATIONS

Vern Cotter hailed stand-in skipper John Barclay a natural-born leader after insisting he was always his first choice to replace Greig Laidlaw.

The Scotland head coach was faced with a difficult decision after captain Laidlaw was ruled out for the rest of the RBS Six Nations through injury.

Both Barclay and giant Glasgow lock Jonny Gray took turns with the armband when the scrum-half limped off after damaging his ankle in the defeat to France in Paris.

However, it is the 30-year-old Scarlets flanker who has been given the nod to lead out the team against Wales at Murrayfield tomorrow.

Cotter said: "John's been part of the leadership group and was captain when Greig went off against France, although he unfortunately then had to come off too. So it was pretty easy, all we had to do was wait to make sure that his shoulder was okay.

"John has very good leadership qualities and he's got good people around him. He knows how to talk to referees and to captain a side.

"Captaincy is something that comes naturally to him, he doesn't have to force it. And he's respected by the players."

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