Scotland v Italy: Stuart Hogg reacts to playing stand-off and admits he will be happy to see Finn Russell return

Stuart Hogg said he enjoyed the experience of playing stand-off against Italy but admitted he will be happy to see Finn Russell back in the No 10 jersey when Scotland play France in Paris on Friday.

Scotland captain Stuart Hogg started at stand-off for the first time in a Test match in the 52-10 win over Italy. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
Scotland captain Stuart Hogg started at stand-off for the first time in a Test match in the 52-10 win over Italy. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS

Hogg was starting a Test match at fly-half for the first time and acquitted himself well as the home side scored eight tries in a 52-10 bonus-point victory which lifted them above England in the Six Nations table.

The Scotland captain said he felt uncomfortable at times in the unaccustomed role and would look forward to returning to full-back against France.

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“I think there are a lot better players that can play 10 than me,” said Hogg, who played his schoolboy rugby at stand-off.

“I just want what’s best for the team. If that means I’m playing 10 or 15, as long as we’re winning games of rugby I don’t care where I’m playing.

“At times I felt we were very much in control of it, and at times I was uncomfortable because the pace was quick and we lost our structure a fair amount, in the first half especially. And that’s when you have to rein it back in.

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“Nobody said it was going to be plain sailing, but I found it really quite challenging at times - but a challenge I really enjoyed. I had a lot of fun out there today alongside the rest of the boys and that showed in our performance.”

Hogg played 55 minutes at stand-off before the introduction of substitute Jaco van der Walt saw the captain return to the more familiar full-back position.

Russell missed the win over Italy due to a head knock sustained in last weekend’s home loss to Ireland but the Racing 92 player will be fit for Friday’s showdown in his adopted home city.

“I’ve no doubt he’ll be back in the 10 jersey next week,” said Hogg. “He’s a world-class talent. I was quite happy to step in for a little bit today, but we’ll leave it to him to drive us around. He’s been absolutely outstanding for myself, Jaco and the rest of the boys in all his involvements, which just shows what he’s about.”

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