Vellacott appointed co-captain for 2023/24 season
Scotland international scrum-half Ben Vellacott was today appointed Edinburgh Rugby co-captain for the upcoming 2023/24 campaign.
Now entering his third season at the capital club, Vellacott, 28, has been a standout performer since joining from Wasps in 2021, earning a league-wide reputation for his lightning-quick feet and playmaking abilities in the number nine jersey.
A Scotland debutant in 2022, Vellacott made his first and only Scotland appearance so far in the 33-22 victory over Italy at Stadio Olimpico, as a second-half replacement.
Vellacott will share the captaincy duties with a returning Scotland internationalist, to be appointed by Senior Coach Sean Everitt when the club’s cohort of Scotland players return from Rugby World Cup 2023.
Vellacott said: “I am honestly over the moon and honoured to be named co-captain. It still hasn’t sunk in. I have a lot of love for this club, especially the people within it, and personally for me it’ll be a new challenge which I am excited for.
“I was not expecting the news at all, and I was really taken back when Sean asked me. I had just finished breakfast at the club and Sean asked to speak to me.
“I initially thought ‘oh no have I done something wrong’ and he quickly reassured me there was nothing to worry about. We had a really positive chat and it’s an absolute privilege to be asked to be co-captain.”
Vellacott is one of Edinburgh Rugby’s most experienced players having earned his stripes south of the border at both Gloucester and Wasps, while playing age-grade rugby for Scotland U20.
A livewire scrum-half known his for his incredible acceleration, Vellacott ran in 14 tries in 50 appearances at Gloucester, with his breakthrough campaign at Kingsholm coming during the 2017/18 season as he notched up seven tries throughout an impressive year.
Vellacott endured a challenging time during two seasons at Wasps after suffering a knee injury in first year at the club – scoring two tries in 25 appearances – however the scrum-half bounced back in predictably bold fashion as he joined Edinburgh Rugby ahead of the 2021/22 season.
He shot onto the scene at Hive Stadium – scoring six tries in 23 appearances during his first season at the club – and earning the September Scottish Building Society Player of the Month after an electric start to life in the Scottish capital.
Vellacott now gears up to co-captain Edinburgh Rugby for the first time ahead of the Scottish Building Society Pre-Season Series against Connacht at Hive Stadium this Friday night (29 September, kick-off 7.30pm).
The scrum-half continued: “Leadership to me comes in many forms and it’s important we work together as a team and communicate with each other, whilst respecting one another’s opinions.
“I will be definitely calling upon the many experienced players within the group to help drive the club forward.
“It’s been a long pre-season in which the boys have been able to spend a lot of time together on and off the field. This can only be beneficial for the season ahead.
“The group can’t wait to get started. We’re all so excited to get back on the pitch and get back to Hive Stadium.”
Edinburgh Rugby Senior Coach Sean Everitt today hailed Vellacott’s leadership qualities, backing the scrum-half to succeed as co-captain in 2023/24, while confirming that a current Scotland internationalist will co-lead the team this upcoming campaign.
He said: “Ben [Vellacott] has been a standout leader during my time at the club. For me, he was an obvious choice for the role. His professionalism, communication skills and desire to better himself are second to none.
“I believe Ben will relish the opportunity while the squad will undoubtedly follow his lead because of the respect he commands across the changing room. He’s a really popular guy with a ‘team-first’ attitude.
“We are really excited to see Ben take on the role, while we’ll look to appoint another Scotland internationalist as co-captain when those players return to the club. Our Scotland players are obviously hugely important members of the squad and will once again play a vital role in leading the team when back involved.”