Five highlights of Stuart Hogg’s road to 50 caps

Stuart Hogg, with Robbie Henshaw in tow, scores his first try last weekend.Picture: Neil Hanna
Stuart Hogg, with Robbie Henshaw in tow, scores his first try last weekend.Picture: Neil Hanna
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Youngest Scot to hit half century has made his own history since low-key debut recalls Iain Morrison

1 His first Test: 12 February 2012, Wales 27 Scotland 13

The match was dominated by a full-back but it wasn’t Stuart Hogg, who made his Test debut off the bench for Max Evans on the wing. Instead Wales’ Leigh Halfpenny, pictured, scored two tries and added a further 12 points with the boot. One report noted dryly that Scotland had got over their “try drought” after one touchdown from Greig Laidlaw. For a while Scotland were reduced to just 13 players as Nick de Luca and Rory Lamont both picked up yellow cards. However there were a few hints of the potential that was to come as Hogg almost scored a try. A better pass would have resulted in a walk in, but Hogg had to take it off his boots and the referee adjudged a knock on.

2 His first try: 26 February 2012, Scotland 17, France 23

He hadn’t long to wait because two weeks later at Murrayfield, Hogg claimed the first of his 15 Test tries after starting at full-back. Around the half hour mark Scotland are attacking and Laidlaw picks up a bobbling ball and changes to the blind side. Lee Jones runs a diagonal line before finding Hogg on the right and the full-back sprints in without a French hand touching him.

3 The youngest Lion: 
 2013 tour of Australia

Scotland have not had much joy with the Lions in recent years but the full-back is selected to travel and, as the youngest tourist in Australia, he has the unhappy task of carrying the team mascot from one venue to the next. Hogg celebrated his 21st birthday in the middle of the tour. He does not get a look in when it comes to the Test 15 jersey, which is filled by Halfpenny, but he does showcase his versatility by starting at stand-off against a combined NSW/Queensland country team.

4 Player of the Tournament: 
 2016 Six Nations

After becoming a father to Archie late in 2015, a more mature Hogg wins the player of the tournament award the following year and is handed the trophy by Gregor Townsend at a Glasgow training session, apparently oblivious to the honour. It is well deserved as Hogg scores tries against Ireland and France and a long-range penalty against the latter, from fully six metres inside his own half, helps Scotland secure their first victory over France for a decade. His over the head tip pass for Tim Visser to score against France was outrageous in its ambition and clinical in its execution; only attempted by someone at the very height of their powers. He goes on record stating that he plays to make Archie proud…job done.

5 Try doubles in successive matches,
 v Georgia and Ireland

When the full-back scored a brace against Georgia in the final November Test there were a few who put it down to the paucity of the opposition and one very kind bounce. When Hogg did the exact same against Ireland one week ago then the rugby world woke up and took notice. If his first five pointer was a simple affair, he still had to judge correctly that Garry Ringrose wasn’t going to make the interception, then the second was a thing of beauty. Rob Kearney had already drifted off Hogg a couple of times in the match so he dummies a pass to Sean Maitland on the outside, his opposite number swallows it and Hogg has the legs to escape Keith Earls’ despairing dive for a cracker of a try.