Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg is determined to overcome his ongoing cramping problems ahead of the Wallabies showdown.
The Glasgow Warrior is the only man to have started all four of Scotland’s Pool B games but, in the last two, has had to come off in the latter stages after being hit by searing cramps.
“I don’t know what it is but it is bloody frustrating,” said Hogg in Newcastle yesterday before the squad travelled south to their new base in Guildford. On Saturday the 23-year-old had to depart in the 70th minute and was replaced by Sean Lamont, who earned his 100th cap in the process.
Hogg added: “I have worked with the physios and Doctor James [Robson]. I am not sure what is happening but we will try to get it right. We have tried lots of different things. I would love to be involved [on Sunday] and I will work hard and change a few things, I am not sure what yet. It was bitterly disappointing to come off.
“Cramp goes in different areas. In the last couple of games it has been in both calves. The lower back starts to seize up ever so slightly and then the cramp comes, which is a nightmare.
“The one at the weekend I chased down a kick and ended up getting cramp and had to get out of the way.”
Scotland team medic Dr James Robson said: “Hoggy’s cramp is doing my head in. Some people are susceptible to change in surroundings, particularly beds. For others it’s the change in surface from grass to artificial. I’ve even seen a lot of people cramping up because we’re playing on football pitches, which are slightly firmer than the ones we usually play on.
“But Hoggy had one game at Leeds, which was on a football pitch, where he played the whole 80 minutes without cramp, so what was the difference?
“Cramp in the past is just one of those things we are not sure about.
“People have used salts, others dioralyte and some quinine to try and prevent it. I think it is multi-factorial. Is it the boots, the surface or the bed?
“I don’t know, but we are trying to nurse Hoggy through it, so next time he won’t cramp. We will find it stops soon, though, because he hasn’t had problems with it in the past.”
Compared to the troubles of some squads such as Wales and Ireland, who had Peter O’Mahony ruled out of the rest of the tournament with knee ligament damage yesterday and may yet also lose skipper Paul O’Connell, it says a lot for Scotland’s injury luck that Hogg’s cramp is one of the main talking points.
The full-back added: “The boys are on fire. They are massively excited by what lies ahead. They are chuffed to bits we have got to the quarter-final. That is what we have targeted and for us this is where the hard work starts. It is a great opportunity to get one over on Australia.”