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Exeter boss Rob Baxter backs Stuart Hogg over Scotland team protocol breach

Stuart Hogg

Exeter Chiefs boss Rob Baxter has downplayed Stuart Hogg’s breach of Scotland’s team protocol, saying it was an ambiguous situation.

Hogg and five other Scotland team mates were disciplined for breaching team protocol ahead of Scotland’s final Six Nations game against Ireland, with the full back in particular coming under criticism as he is his country’s captain.

Scotland of course went on to lose to Ireland by 21 points, while Hogg wasted a brilliant try-scoring opportunity to get his side back into the game, which has amplified the criticism directed at the 29-year-old.

Hogg is now back training with Exeter and the Chiefs director of rugby told The Scotsman that the breach of protocol was a minor issue which shouldn’t have generated so much controversy.

Rob Baxter on Stuart Hogg.

“It’s not like anyone’s gone out and got drunk and got into a fight, or come back at six o’clock in the morning or missed training,” Baxter said.

“So I can probably understand why the Scottish people involved are a little frustrated that this has been a big issue, because it clearly hasn’t been. I think people are trying to make out there has been a clear breach of team rules – there’s not been.

“I think there was a little bit of ambiguity over what was supposed to happen when he got back to the hotel. That ambiguity was cleared up with a phone call asking the guys to come back.”

Exeter’s push for the play offs continues.

Hogg has been rested for Exeter Chiefs’ crucial Gallagher Premiership clash against table toppers Leicester Tigers today, as the Devon-based side look to consolidate their place in the top four.

Exeter are just one point ahead of Sale Sharks in fifth place as things stand, although they have a game in hand and could put some daylight between the sides with a win today.

Leicester certainly won’t roll over however, although Exeter are at home and in good form, having won four of their last five league fixtures.

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