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Stuart Hogg: From Glasgow Warriors debut to Scotland star

Charlie Bennett

23 Mar 2017

Glasgow Warriors’ Stuart Hogg was the star of the RBS 6 Nations and has been named Player of the Tournament for the second year in a row, reinforcing his status as one of the best players in the world.

The full-back was instrumental in Scotland’s excellent campaign – where they won three of their five matches to finish fourth.

Hogg scored three tries in the tournament and was a rock under the high ball, while he also reinforced his capabilities from the tee.

In the opening match against Ireland, he scored two excellent tries, lung-busting efforts from out wide, before contributing superbly in defence as Vern Cotter’s side roared back to down Wales in Round Three.

Here we take a closer look at the full-back, and some of his stand-out moments from his time in the Guinness PRO12.

Rising through the ranks

Hogg comes from a talented rugby family, his father, John, played as a winger for Borders side Hawick while his brother Graham has represented Scotland 7s in the IRB World Sevens Series.

But Stuart is perhaps the best of the lot, and he first burst on the scene when he was named Player of the Year with Scotland U17s.

And a couple of seasons later, aged just 18, Hogg made his Guinness Pro12 debut but was not overawed by the Warriors set-up, carrying 128 metres on his first two appearances.

The 25-year-old quickly went on to establish himself as one of Glasgow’s most important players and a Scotland call-up followed in the 2012 RBS 6 Nations.

Hat-trick hero

Just over a year after coming onto the scene, Hogg made an emphatic statement with a fine hat-trick against Munster – riding the crest of a wave following his Scotland debut weeks before.

The then 19-year-old dodged tacklers and showed off his stunning speed for his first before being slipped in by Colin Shaw shortly after.

Munster eventually won the match thanks to 20 points from Ian Keatley and tries from Luke O’Dea and Peter O’Mahony but it was Hogg who stole the headlines as he finished the contest with an outstanding hat-trick try on full-time.

It was little surprise that just a year later he was picked for the 2013 British & Irish Lions tour to Australia, becoming the youngest member of the squad.

Final triumph

Hogg was dropped from the side which lost to Leinster in the Guinness PRO12 final in 2014, but he earned personal redemption a year later – helping the Warriors become champions for the first time in their history.

Glasgow’s momentum was slowly building in the early part of the decade, as they gradually became a Celtic force with a new wave of talent, spearheaded by Hogg.

And Glasgow’s attacking style overcame Munster’s brutal defence, scoring four tries in the final triumph to win 31-13.

Since that day, Hogg has gone from strength to strength on the international stage – starring at the 2015 World Cup and now winning back-to-back RBS 6 Nations Player of the Tournament awards.

Fly-half for the future?

Hogg’s versatility makes him increasingly appealing, and he showed how sharp his distribution is a couple of months ago – as he lined up at fly-half for the first time against Benetton Treviso.

With Scotland team-mate Finn Russell injured, Hogg was handed the ten jersey and excelled – scoring a trademark try and kicking five conversions with unnerving accuracy.

Glasgow won the clash 35-28, and Hogg’s reputation as a deadly goal kicker has grown while his fierce defence and excellent passing skills show how useful he can be as a No.10 further down the line.

Guinness PRO12 Final 2017, 27th May, Aviva Stadium, Dublin.
Ticket Information: Fans can still avail of an exclusive number of €35 tickets. Book via www.ticketmaster.ie. Further information: www.pro12rugby.com/final