The forward duo will share the role for the new campaign, which gets started in three days’ time, as the capital side host Dragons RFC in their BKT URC opener on Saturday evening (17 September, kick-off 7.35pm) at DAM Health Stadium.
Back-row Ritchie, 26, is named co-captain for the very first time in his Edinburgh career and joins Gilchrist, 32, in a joint leadership role, with the experienced lock and club centurion appointed co-captain for the third consecutive season and fourth overall (2016, 2020, 2021, 2022).
The pair are two of Edinburgh’s longest tenured stars, with Gilchrist (175 Edinburgh appearances) entering his 12th season in the capital and Ritchie (85 Edinburgh appearances) his ninth, while both have previously been named in captaincy roles at international level during their respective Scotland careers.
Gilchrist (55 caps) was named Scotland captain during the recent Summer Tour to South America, while Ritchie (32 caps) was chosen to captain Scotland for the 2021 Summer Tests in Georgia and Romania – with both games cancelled due to the impact of the covid pandemic – but the back-row did co-captain his country alongside Ali Price in last Autumn’s Test match against Tonga.
Both players have been at the club their entire careers and now gear up to co-captain their boyhood team on the eve of BKT URC season kick-off.
Gilchrist said: “I’m really proud to have been named co-captain alongside Jamie this year. It’s hard for me to put into words what Edinburgh Rugby means to me.
“It’s been such a big part of my life. Living in Edinburgh with my family, we have such a connection to the people and the city – so to be named as co-captain is such an honour.
The lock continued: “I look at the list of captains who’ve come before me in both the amateur and pro eras and there are so many guys there that I look up to.
“Building that connection with our past is something that I’m really passionate about it and motivates me to play – it’s such a great feeling to be up there as co-captain.”
Former Howe of Fife RFC, Madras College and Strathallan School standout Ritchie has been one of the club’s most consistent performers since signing a senior deal straight out of high school aged just 17-years-old.
The former Scotland U20 captain came off the bench to make his senior team debut in Dublin against Leinster in October 2014 and has never looked back.
The back-row was named in Gregor Townsend’s Scotland squad for the 2018 Summer Tour to Canada, USA and Argentina and made his international debut at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.
Ritchie was one of Scotland’s standout performers during the 2019 Six Nations campaign and that form continued into Rugby World Cup 2019, where an impressive showing in defeat to Japan rubber-stamped his status as one of World Rugby’s up-and-coming stars.
Ritchie then committed his long-term future to the club in January 2021.
Ritchie said: “I’m extremely proud to be named as co-captain. Edinburgh Rugby is a club that means so much to me. It’s been a massive part of my entire adult life, as I’ve been here since I was 17 years old.
“I’m hugely excited to be working with Gilco [Grant Gilchrist]. We have a great relationship. We share lifts into training in the morning and he’s been here for my entire time at the club.
“His experience will be invaluable for me to learn from. He’s a real Edinburgh Rugby legend and I’m massively excited to be named co-captain alongside him.
“It’s a true honour to be selected as captain with Gilco and I’m absolutely buzzing to get going.”
Head Coach Mike Blair – who captained the club in both 2009 and 2010 – added: “We’re delighted to appoint Grant and Jamie as our 22/23 co-captains – they both epitomise what it means to play for Edinburgh Rugby.
“They are two of the most consistent and committed players we have at the club, while they command respect across the dressing room because of the way they lead by example.
“I’d like to also mention Stuart [McInally] alongside our co-captains. Although he doesn’t have an official captaincy title this season, he will continue to play a significant role in our leadership group – he’s an outstanding player and man.
“It’s a massive season for the club as we celebrate our 150th anniversary and our proud heritage has so often been exemplified by the captains that have never wavered in their pride to play for Edinburgh.”
Squad Update | Munster Prepare For Bayonne At Thomond
The Munster squad are preparing at the HPC ahead of Saturday’s Investec Champions Cup opener against Bayonne at Thomond Park (5.30pm).
Buy match tickets here.
Jean Kleyn will be unavailable until the New Year due to an eye injury suffered in the Leinster match. He attended for a specialist review last Tuesday and Wednesday and will have further follow-up before Christmas.
Jack Daly (ankle) and Liam Coombes (shoulder) both underwent surgery last week and will begin rehabilitation under the medical department.
There is good news for Patrick Campbell (ankle) as he has returned to team training.
Jack O’Donoghue (ankle) will also return to training this week.
Simon Zebo (knee) will continue to rehabilitate early this week.
The availability of Campbell, O’Donoghue and Zebo will be determined later in the week.
Peter O’Mahony (shoulder) is improving but will remain unavailable for the Bayonne clash.
Continuing to rehab: Jack Daly (ankle), Peter O’Mahony (shoulder), Liam Coombes (shoulder), RG Snyman (chest/shoulder), Joey Carbery (wrist), Roman Salanoa (knee), Mike Haley (hip), Cian Hurley (ankle/achilles), Niall Scannell (groin).
There were 11 Munster players in AIL action for their clubs at the weekend.
In Division 1A, Fionn Gibbons, Chris Moore and Keynan Knox helped Young Munster to a win over City of Armagh with Gibbons among the tries.
Ethan Coughlan and Daniel Okeke were in action for Shannon as they were beaten away to Terenure College.
In Division 1B, Jack Oliver, George Hadden and Colm Hogan helped Garryowen beat Blackrock College with Hogan scoring a try on his debut for the club. Oliver also kicked three conversions and two penalties.
Jack O’Sullivan and Ben O’Connor featured for UCC as they were narrowly beaten by Old Wesley.
In Evan O’Connell helped UL Bohemians to a draw against MU Barnhall.
Images & Content from Munster Rugby
Peter O’Mahony Steps Down After Over 10 Years As Munster Captain
Munster Rugby can confirm that Peter O’Mahony has made the decision to step down as squad captain after over 10 years leading the province.
O’Mahony first captained Munster in a competitive game on September 3, 2011 at the age of 21. It was just his 12th appearance for the province and he led the side for the opening five games of that season.
He took over the Munster captaincy on a permanent basis ahead of the 2013/14 season following the departure of Doug Howlett.
The 2022/23 season was O’Mahony’s 10th year as squad captain and ended with glory in Cape Town as he lifted the URC title with Keith Earls after a thrilling win over the Stormers.
Along with captaining Munster, he has also led Ireland and the British & Irish Lions.
Head Coach Graham Rowntree and the coaching team will select a new squad captain in due course.
Peter O’Mahony said: “Captaining Munster has been a dream come true for me.
“I grew up watching and idolising the Munster team and in particular the people who were leading the team.
“People like Mick Galwey, Jim Williams then on to the likes of ROG and Paul, who I had the privilege of playing with at the start of my career.
“I can remember the day I was asked to be captain like it was yesterday and discussing it with Paul to get his approval.
“From that day to this it’s been an utter privilege and has never been something I’ve taken for granted.
“However, having given a huge amount of thought to it, I think it is the right time to step back from the role to share my experiences and give the same guidance that I received when I took on the role.
“What an unbelievable honour it has been…and will always continue to be.”
Paying tribute to O’Mahony’s over 10 years as captain, Rowntree said: “You couldn’t pick a better leader than Pete and he has been a fantastic captain for this club.
“To lead Munster from such a young age and for so many years speaks volumes of his ability as a player on the pitch and a person off it.
“He commands huge respect and will still be a massive leader within the group. To have someone of Pete’s experience on hand to help us with the succession process is invaluable.
“We have a strong leadership group within the squad and will confirm a new squad captain in due course.”
Images & Content from Munster Rugby
Squad Update | Munster Prepare For Leinster In Dublin
The Munster squad are preparing at the HPC ahead of Saturday’s URC round 6 clash against Leinster at the Aviva Stadium (6.30pm, live on TG4).
Our next home game is against Glasgow Warriors at Musgrave Park on Friday, December 1 (7.35pm). Buy match tickets here.
Following Saturday’s win over Stormers, Peter O’Mahony (shoulder) and Jack O’Donoghue (ankle) will both go for scans on their respective injuries.
Diarmuid Barron has progressed through the return to play protocols and will be available for selection.
Continuing to rehab: Liam Coombes (shoulder), RG Snyman (chest/shoulder), Joey Carbery (wrist), Patrick Campbell (ankle), Roman Salanoa (knee), Mike Haley (hip), Cian Hurley (ankle/achilles), Niall Scannell (groin).
On the AIL front, there were nine Munster players in action for their clubs at the weekend.
In Division 1A, Keynan Knox and Fionn Gibbons helped Young Munster to a win over Terenure College at Tom Clifford Park.
Ethan Coughlan and Daniel Okeke were in action for Shannon as they were beaten by Lansdowne in Dublin.
In Division 1B, Jack Oliver and George Hadden lined out for Garryowen as they were beaten by St Mary’s College with Oliver kicking a conversion and a penalty.
Jack O’Sullivan was a try-scorer for UCC with Ben O’Connor also starting as they beat Queen’s University at the Mardyke.
In Division 1B, Evan O’Connell helped UL Bohemian to a 16-12 victory over Ballymena at Annacotty.
URC Round 7: Friday, December 1
Munster v Glasgow Warriors, Musgrave Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here
Champions Cup Round 1: Saturday, December 9
Munster Rugby v Bayonne, Thomond Park, 5.30pm; Buy tickets here
URC Round 8: Tuesday, December 26
Munster v Leinster, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here
Champions Cup Round 4: Saturday, January 20
Munster Rugby v Northampton Saints, Thomond Park, 5.30pm; Buy tickets here
Saturday, February 3
Munster Rugby v Crusaders, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 5pm; Buy final tickets here
URC Round 11: Friday, March 1
Munster v Zebre Parma, Musgrave Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here
URC Round 13: Saturday, March 30
Munster v Cardiff Rugby, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here
URC Round 16: Saturday, May 11
Munster v Connacht, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here
URC Round 18: Saturday, June 1
Munster v Ulster, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here
Images & Content from Munster Rugby