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Scotland captain has admitted that he will carry the pain on Scotland’s Rugby World Cup exit “to the grave” but he insists that they can win the Six Nations.
Thirty-year-old Laidlaw’s Scotland were eliminated from the World Cup at the quarter final after referee Craig Joubert refused to review a penalty decision with the TMO.
Joubert awarded the penalty to Australia which Bernard Foley kicked and put Australia 35-34 ahead on the scoreboard.
The game’s ruling body World Rugby later issued a statement saying that the penalty was incorrectly awarded.
“I’ll take that to my grave with me and I say that truthfully,” Laidlaw told the BBC.
“It’s something that as players we know could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s a career where things turn on small margins. You put your life’s work into stuff and for it to end like that is difficult to take.
“But we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We don’t deserve anything. Nobody is going to give us anything easy. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us in the Six Nations, and we are not going to feel sorry for ourselves.
“We have to improve, get better and win games of rugby.”
While Scotland reached the furthest of all Northern Hemisphere sides in the Rugby World Cup in the Six Nations they have enjoyed little success as they have only won three matches over the last four years.
Scotland have a record of 3 wins from 20 matches.
Scotland came last in the 2015 Six Nations and have lost their last seven matches in the championship.
However Laidlaw says that the young players in the squad like fly-half Finn Russell, centre Mark Bennett, full-back Stuart Hogg and lock Jonny Gray – who are all 23 or younger – have given the whole squad the belief they can do well.
“We have got to be confident, that is probably one thing we have learned from the past,” he told BBC Scotland.
“We must play with confidence, and the make-up of our group lends itself to that.”
“We have confident young players who are averse to some of the pressures, which is brilliant. Some of the boys who have been around for a bit longer are starting to feed off the younger players.
“Scotland can win [the championship]. Nobody knows the make-up of the tournament or the results. What we can affect is ourselves and how prepared we are. When we take the field against England we have to be ready to rock and roll.”
Gloucester club captain Greig Laidlaw will leave the English Premiership Rugby club at the end of the season to join French Top 14 club Clermont. Scotland captain Laidlaw joined...
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