Rugby: Hogg grateful to Heriot's for giving him a platform

Centre Stuart Hogg has thanked Heriot's for giving him a leg up into senior rugby as he prepares to enter the cauldron of Scotland's world under-20 championship campaign against powerful South Africa tomorrow in Padova, Italy.

Since his time at Goldenacre, borderer Hogg has gone on to make a full appearance for Glasgow but says it might not have been possible without opportunities at Heriot's.

"At Heriot's I was unfortunate to get an injury which ruled me out for half the season and then when I came back I was straight into the (Scotland) under-18s," says the son of former full-back turned referee, John Hogg.

Stuart adds: "In the whole season I played three games for Heriot's but it gave me a taste for Premiership Division One rugby at a young age."

Turning his attention to the global tournament, he said: "I'm apprehensive about what is to come but excited as well; hopefully my first game for Glasgow recently is a stepping stone.

"Hopefully I can get some exposure and in a year or two get a pro contract as well."

If the Scots could scarcely have picked a tougher start than against a country who beat them 73-0 in the same competition in Argentina a year ago and 72-3 two years prior to that encounter, then the rest of their group will offer little respite.

"We've got England and Ireland as well; they'll all be outstanding teams," says Hogg who does, however, insist preparations have been thorough.

"(Coach) Peter Wright was saying South Africa will be bringing their biggest possible team so we have been working hard on defence and hopefully can chop them low. They have some quick guys in there as well though.

"We know what England are like from the Six Nations - well structured with a great game plan."

The Auld Enemies are due to meet again in the senior World Cup out in New Zealand this Autumn.

Hogg added: "It would be great to give the big team a boost ahead of their World Cup match against England."

Meanwhile former Heriot's coach Bob McKillop predicts a bright future for Hogg.

He said: "Stuart has a very good kicking game and is a strong runner with a very competitive attitude."