Glasgow Warriors have secured Stuart Hogg, one of the hottest young properties in the British game, on a long-term full professional contract.
In a significant boost ahead of the deciding 1872 Cup derby against Edinburgh Rugby at Firhill on Sunday, the Scotstoun-based club today confirmed that the 19-year-old full-back has been rewarded for his outstanding start to the season with a deal that will keep him at the Warriors until at least the end of May 2015.
Hogg, part of the Glasgow set-up for the past 18 months as a Scottish Rugby Elite Development player, has been a virtual ever-present in the team so far this campaign, winning plaudits for his strong running and kicking game and claiming the Heineken Man of the Match award in the recent Pool 3 victory over Montpellier at Firhill.
Hogg, who can also play at stand-off and centre, initially came through the Hawick club and has represented Scotland at under-17, under-18 and under-20 level.
He is the seventh of the Warriors’ rising stars to sign a multi-year contract in the past three months, Chris Fusaro, Ryan Grant, Rob Harley, Ruaridh Jackson, Duncan Weir and Ryan Wilson having already put pen to paper.
British and Irish Lions scrum-half Chris Cusiter has also renewed, while World Cup back-three men David Lemi and Rory Lamont have come on board with Sean Lamont pledged to arrive at the start of next season.
Hogg today expressed his delight at committing his long-term future to the Warriors, telling www.glasgowwarriors.org: “I’m hugely excited to have signed a full professional contract and to know I’m going to be part of the club for at least the next three and a half years.
“It’s a great place to be, with lots of positive things happening on and off the field in terms of player signings and the move to Scotstoun next season.
“We’re in the fortunate position of having a lot of quality backs at the club, and I’ve taken a massive amount from training and playing with them. I’d also like to acknowledge and thank the coaching staff, especially [Elite Development coach] Iain Monaghan, for the work they’ve done with me.
“I’m learning all the time and I’ll continue to work extremely hard to keep developing as a player.”
Head coach Sean Lineen gave enthusiastic endorsement to the announcement, saying: “Stuart is an outstanding prospect who has already served clear notice of his ability to thrive in both the RaboDirect PRO12 and Heineken Cup.
“He’s got a fantastic attitude and character, and shows a great appetite for improvement. It will be a real pleasure to keep working with him to ensure he fulfils his exciting potential.”
Warriors managing director Nathan Bombrys commented: “Securing Stuart Hogg on this length of contract is tremendous news for the club. It sends out a strong message that we want to keep our best home-grown talent here to develop the team and achieve success.
“Stuart has had a very encouraging start to the season, and we felt it was absolutely necessary to reward him for this form and get him tied down for the foreseeable future. In advance of one of our biggest games of the season against Edinburgh on Sunday, we couldn’t have asked for a better pre-match lift.”
Tickets for Sunday’s winner takes all clash are selling fast, with fewer than 1,500 remaining. Supporters wishing to attend the game are urged to buy their tickets NOW, to avoid possible disappointment.
Tickets are available via www.glasgowwarriors.org, by calling 0844 800 3490 or in person at the Glasgow on Ice box office on George Square and the Gordon Street and Sauchiehall Street branches of Greaves Sports, our official retail partner.
Fans are also advised that there will be increased demand for on-street parking in the vicinity of Firhill on Sunday, and are encouraged to car share where possible. Supporters who wish to offer or request lifts to/from other fans can do so via Twitter, using #1872carshare.
Everyone is encouraged to arrive as early as possible, particularly those requiring to collect tickets.