Captain Stuart Hogg has promised Scotland fans there will be no repeat of the butterfingers that cost his team in Dublin as he prepares to lead his country out at BT Murrayfield for the first time in today’s 127th Calcutta Cup clash.
Hogg dropped the ball over the Irish line with a potentially match-levelling try slipping from his grasp in what proved the main talking point of the opening round in this year’s Guinness Six Nations.
Asked how long it had taken him to get over the embarrassing moment, Hogg, who will win his 74th cap today, gave a wincing smile and said: “It took me about five minutes to get over and now you have brought it back up so thanks for that!
“It’s similar to the World Cup. I can’t change what happens. I might have taken a bit of stick but afterwards I apologised to the boys and I hope to make up for it tomorrow.”
Social media may have had a field day with the blooper but the skipper said there had been no ribbing from his loyal team-mates.
“No. The boys have had my back and that is pleasing,” said the 27-year-old Exeter Chiefs full-back. “I was proud of the boys efforts last week and pleased at how they believed in me and how much they backed me up was really pleasing.
“I was extremely grateful for that. Again it’s not about little bits and pieces that happen during the game. It’s about making sure we are on the money and not making the same mistakes. I will learn from that, don’t you worry.”
With that incident and the 19-12 loss to Ireland in Dublin put to bed, Hogg is now fully focused on trying to keep Scottish hands on the Calcutta Cup, the world’s oldest international trophy, three times in a row for the first time since 1970-71-72.
A wounded England, who lost their opener 24-17 to an impressive France in Paris, start as hot favourites as ever and Hogg, who played in the famous 25-13 Scotland win in 2018 ago but missed the 38-38 Twickenham epic through injury last year, is desperate for Scotland to get rid of their perennial valiant losers tag.
“We’ve got the gameplan and the players in this squad to be winning Test matches,” he said. “The tag that we’ve been given really hurts the players but we need to be in a position to win Test matches before that goes.
“We get another opportunity tomorrow to make sure that’s gone. There’s a Calcutta Cup to play for and that’s all we’re concentrating on. It’s a huge occasion for us. Some boys are playing in this game for the first time but we’ve shown over the past couple of years that we’re more than capable of winning. We’re ready.”
Ready too for whatever the