Stuart Hogg admits rift with Gregor Townsend could have ended his cap career

Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg has reflected on the “scary” moment he realised he had almost wrecked his international career as he approaches the end of his time at Glasgow Warriors.

Stuart Hogg at Land Rover dealer Taggarts in Glasgow.   Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS
Stuart Hogg at Land Rover dealer Taggarts in Glasgow. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS

The 26-year-old will join Exeter Chiefs next season, after representing his country in the World Cup, all going well, and is fully focused on finishing his nine-year spell at Glasgow on a high by reaching and winning the Guinness Pro14 title at what would be a dream Celtic Park final next month.

However, in an interview with The Scotsman, the two-times Six Nations man of the tournament pinpointed the summer of 2014 as a fork in the road which could have led to the end of his international career.

Hogg was dropped by then Warriors – now Scotland – head coach Gregor Townsend after trying to engineer a move away to Ulster. The then 21-year-old subsequently apologised and re-committed to Glasgow which, looking back, he is glad he did. “It wasn’t until last summer when Gregor made me Scotland captain [for the Test against United States in Houston] that we sat down and chatted and I heard his side of the story for the first time,” said Hogg.

“He said he didn’t think we were going to be able to have any kind of relationship. That was scary to hear because, Gregor being such a good coach coming through, the Scotland job was always going to be inevitable at some point and I’m glad I didn’t burn my bridges. If I had, would I be playing for Scotland now? Probably not.”

Hogg went on to win the Pro12 title in 2015 and is desperate to add another winner’s medal before he leaves the club next month. Glasgow are already into the play-offs but need a win over Scottish rivals Edinburgh at Scotstoun on Saturday night to be sure of a home semi-final.

That would leave them 80 minutes away from reaching the final at Celtic Park on 
25 May.