Gregor Townsend hopeful Stuart Hogg not out of Scotland's Six Nations campaign
Last Updated: 13/02/19 4:20pm
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend is optimistic that Stuart Hogg's shoulder injury is not as bad as feared and is hopeful he will still play some part in the Six Nations.
The 26-year-old full-back was forced off after 17 minutes of Saturday's Six Nations defeat to Ireland after a late challenge from Peter O'Mahony.
The British and Irish Lion will see a specialist on Wednesday about his injured shoulder, and Townsend says he will wait to hear from a medical expert before making a final call.
"Well it's news to me that he's out for the Six Nations as we're still waiting to see how he recovers," Townsend said.
"He's about to see a specialist, so we'll know more about his chances of playing over the next few weeks after that.
"I'm very hopeful that he'll get good news and that he'll be available to play some part in the Six Nations."
If Hogg fails to recover in time to feature, Townsend insists he is happy with his cover at full-back and has an ideal replacement in Blair Kinghorn.
"Blair obviously had a great game against Italy. He backed that up on his first touch as he got through the Ireland defence on Saturday and being heavily involved in the second half," Townsend said.
"It was just a pity that we didn't get that multi-phase game that we got in the first half that would have allowed someone like Blair to get on the ball more.
"We've got good strength and depth in the back three. We've got Darcy Graham who has been playing really well for Edinburgh. Tommy Seymour and Sean Maitland have both played at full-back and are both very experienced players.
"I believe Byron McGuigan is back for his club this week, so if Stuart is missing - and I really hope that's not the case - then we do have other players who have played international rugby and are in really good form."
The Scotland coach believes O'Mahony's off-the-ball tackle on Hogg, who was chasing his own kick ahead, should have been punished by the officials.
The Munster flanker faced no action from referee Romain Poite at the time and currently has not been the subject of disciplinary proceedings.
Townsend said "It's clearly a penalty and potentially worse because a player has tackled somebody without the ball and not used his arms to tackle. It was a late tackle as well.
"It's really disappointing because it wasn't checked. (The officials) could have gone back because it led to the try, so the TMO should have come in to check an incident that I'm sure the referee wasn't 100 per cent clear on as it happened so quickly.
"It's even more disappointing as we lost a player who would have covered the kick as well as the same player for the rest of the game through injury."