Gregor Townsend and Rory Darge managed, eventually, to battle through Storm Isha to take their place at the official launch for this year’s Guinness Six Nations inside the brewer’s storehouse in the heart of Dublin.

Not everyone connected to the Scotland camp was so fortunate with their arrangements. Attempting to fly from the Irish capital to the Scottish one to meet up with the rest of the squad, having turned out for Northampton Saints against Munster on Saturday, centre Rory Hutchinson instead found himself stepping off his plane in the German city of Cologne, having been blown somewhat of course.

Rearranged plans have been a theme for Scotland over the past week. Having chosen not to name Jamie Ritchie as his captain when he announced his squad last week, Townsend confirmed he would be travelling in a different direction when he plumped instead on Sunday for the joint-ticket of Rory Darge and Finn Russell as co-captains.

That left it open to speculation whether Ritchie had been deposed over fitness issues – he was sidelined recently with a jaw injury – questions over his suitability as captain or some other internal matter.

Instead it appears it simply comes down to competition for places. With Glasgow trio Darge, Jack Dempsey and Matt Fagerson, Saracens’ Andy Christie, Edinburgh’s Luke Crosbie and Josh Bayliss of Bath all providing compelling competition for a spot in the back three, Townsend simply couldn’t guarantee Ritchie – a mainstay of the team for so long – a berth in his starting XV.

Townsend wants a “nailed-on starter” to serve as his on-team leader and it appears both Russell and Darge meet that criterion but Ritchie, for now, does not, making it touch and go whether the 46-times capped international reaches his half-century during this tournament.

“The important thing for any of our leaders is to make sure they’re going to start,” said the head coach. “And that got me thinking that, if it’s going to be a real conversation around Jamie and the starting team up against those other guys, maybe we should look at someone else as captain.

“For us the captain has to be someone who is going to be a nailed-on starter. We came to the decision over the weekend, let’s look at someone else and we then came on to the idea of co-captains. We’ll see how it works on the field. We’ve had co-captains before.

“Having a rolling leadership last year with Finn captain and Rory captain was a real positive for us as part of our leadership group. And coming into this tournament me and the coaches had an opportunity to think about whether we wanted to bring anyone new into the squad and it was the same with the leadership.

“Rory is a younger player and coming into that stage of his career, while Finn has been captain for us once and I thought he thrived that week. He was excellent with the other duties as captain including media and speaking to the referee. But the week is about him leading like he normally leads, driving the attack, bringing his experience on things he’s gone through before. I also feel that they complement each other really well.”

It would only be natural if that double whammy of being stripped of the captaincy and then being told he might not play had left Ritchie reeling but Townsend was insistent that the Edinburgh flanker was determined to fight for his place.

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“He took it very well,” he added. “I’d obviously spoken to him around if he can get back playing, then this is the challenge he now has to get in the team. And just now that isn’t the case for Jamie because of the competition, so that’s his focus. But he’s been excellent through this whole process.

“Jamie and I have spoken a few times over the last two or three weeks and he’s determined to be in the starting team down in Wales.

“I thought his intent off the bench on Friday night was excellent. Edinburgh had done a good job before that, but I thought that was a real step forward on Friday, and now he’s got a week of training to show where he is.

“He’s been unlucky to miss two or three weeks through injury. He played really well earlier in the season, in that Ulster game in particular.

“Maybe things didn’t go so well for him over at Scotstoun [against Glasgow Warriors], but we know Jamie bringing his best rugby is only going to help us. But him bringing his best rugby….he knows it has to happen now because of the competition we have.”

Darge might not make the starting line-up for the opener on February 3 either. The Glasgow flanker is still continuing his recuperation from a knee injury – the bumpy flight over from Scotland to Dublin late on Sunday night can’t have been comfortable – and will definitely join the squad on their Spanish training camp in Alicante next week. But a call on whether he starts in Cardiff will be taken early next week.

“We’ll wait and see,” added Townsend, who confirmed that Finn Russell would remain his primary kicker despite no longer fulfilling that role for Bath. “He got good news on Friday. He’s out the knee brace and he’ll start his running rehab process this week.

“He did a session on Sunday, not much on Monday because he’s here in Dublin, and then we’ll see how he is at the end of the week.

“He’ll definitely be in the squad for Spain. For the Wales game we’ll need to make the call on Monday or Tuesday whether he’ll make it or not. But if he doesn’t we’re confident that it will be the following week.”

A decision on whether Grant Gilchrist is eligible or not after his sending off for Edinburgh against Scarlets on Friday is also expected in the next day or two. Uncertainty surrounds that situation. It has been one of those weeks.