Six Nations: Scotland's Stuart Hogg hailed as a ‘special human being’ ahead of landmark occasion at Murrayfield

Sunday’s match against Ireland at Murrayfield will be a landmark occasion for Stuart Hogg, with the full-back in line to win his 100th cap for Scotland, and he was hailed yesterday as a “special human being” by Steve Tandy, the national team’s defence coach.

Hogg is joining an elite group - only three male Scotland players have reached the century milestone. Chris Paterson was the first, in 2011, and he was then joined by Sean Lamont and Ross Ford. Hogg is in rarefied company and few would bet against him becoming Scotland’s most capped men’s player of all time. Ford is out in front at the moment on 110 caps, with Paterson (109) and Lamont (105) just behind. It’s another hugely impressive achievement for the Exeter Chiefs man who last season became Scotland’s leading try-scorer. His first-half score in the 29-20 win over Japan was his 25th and moved him one clear of Grand Slam heroes Ian Smith and Tony Stanger. Hogg has since moved on to 27 tries and Tandy paid tribute to both his character and longevity.

“In this day and age, with the amount of rugby these boys play, to have the motivation and energy he has to represent Scotland, he's a special player and a special human being,” said Tandy. “The pride he has for representing Scotland is brilliant to see. It'll be a huge achievement for him and well deserved.” Hogg turned 30 last year but Tandy has detected no drop in the vigour he applies to his game. “He's bringing bags of energy with the way he plays, there’s an excitement around him,” said the coach. “I know people talk about Hoggy in attack and things, but the energy he brings in defence, the communication, the focus, it’s brilliant to have him part of this group.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Scotland will need all that and more if they are to overcome the Irish on Sunday and claim their first Triple Crown in 33 years. Andy Farrell’s side are top of the Guinness Six Nations table with a maximum 15 points and Scotland’s cause has not been helped by the suspension of Grant Gilchrist following his red card in the loss to France last month. The Edinburgh lock calls the lineouts and has been in excellent form but Tandy believes there is enough strength in depth in the second row to cope. “Grant is an outstanding line-out caller but we’ve got Richie Gray, and John Dalziel as forwards coach does a fantastic job with the boys,” said Tandy. “We’ve also got Jonny Gray and Scott Cummings, who are experienced forwards, and Sam Skinner is an excellent caller. So, I think we’ve got plenty of armoury to fill those slots.”

Stuart Hogg is in line to win his 100th Scotland cap this weekend. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)Stuart Hogg is in line to win his 100th Scotland cap this weekend. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Stuart Hogg is in line to win his 100th Scotland cap this weekend. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The experienced Cummings was called into the squad this week following a long spell on the sidelines with a foot injury. He has played three games for Glasgow since regaining fitness but his club coach, Franco Smith, had expressed some reservations about Cummings and team-mate Rory Darge joining the Scotland squad so soon. Darge has played twice for Glasgow after a serious ankle injury which required surgery. “I know they’ve been injured but physically they’ve come back in great shape,” said Tandy. “We’ll assess them and if they are selected I’ve got no doubt they’ll be ready to go.”



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.