STUART HOGG has backed Gregor Townsend to stay on with Scotland and is convinced the head coach will ‘get things right’ after their early World Cup exit.
Question marks have been raised over Townsend’s management of the team in Japan, with squad selection and tactics coming under the spotlight following the defeats to Ireland and the host nation that denied the Scots a quarter-final spot for just the second time.
But Hogg believes his fellow Borderer will learn lessons from the tournament and can ‘make amends’ for the country’s bitter disappointment.
The full-back said: “I think Gregor’s the right man.
“We’ve been successful in the past. We’ve had a minor blip here and there but nothing’s going to be perfect all the time.
“If it was going to be perfect we would be winning World Cups and that’s just not the case.
“Gregor and the rest of the coaching staff will look at themselves, first and foremost, and then come back to the players.
“It’ll hurt them just as much as us because they’ll think to themselves did they get everything right, before even looking at the players.
“For us, we’ll concentrate on ourselves as players, and the coaches will make amends and get things right, and we’ll be better for it.”
Whilst Townsend has copped some flak, Hogg admits the players have had to deal with some ‘hard truths’ and insists they cannot keep under-performing.
As he joined up with new side Exeter Chiefs, the 27-year-old added to BBC Sport: “It was a combination of different things but it wasn’t to be for us and the most frustrating thing is we didn’t reach our potential.
“But you’ve got to do that in every single game, you can’t wait for another challenge a week or two after, you’ve got to take it there and then, and unfortunately we didn’t do that.
“For us, we just need to keep concentrating on ourselves. We’ve had a lot of boys who have gained experience over the last two or three years when boys have been injured.
“So, we’ve got the squad that’s capable of achieving something special but it wasn’t to be.
“We come back and we learn and we’ll say we’ll be better for this experience. Yes, we will be in some parts, but how long can we keep saying that?
“We’ve had the hard truths and the hard facts, we said it openly to each other, but we’ll get back on the horse come Six Nations time and make the most of it then.”