It wasn’t long ago that the Edinburgh hooker was the first name on Gregor Townsend’s teamsheet. With Fraser Brown sidelined or out of favour, the former back-rower came into his own and led Scotland to a famous draw at Twickenham, scoring a barnstorming try in the process. However his star has waned somewhat in the past 12 months and, following a bad World Cup, was stripped of the captaincy and surrendered his place back to Brown.
Saying all that, he still offers a sheer athleticism that few (if any) of the other hookers possess. He’s a proven leader, his throwing has improved vastly and boy can he run.