Stuart Hogg targeting Lions test cap in 2017

Stuart Hogg in action against the Brumbies on this summer's British and Irish Lions tour. Picture: AFP/ Getty
Stuart Hogg in action against the Brumbies on this summer's British and Irish Lions tour. Picture: AFP/ Getty
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STUART Hogg is making winning a full British and Irish Lions Test cap his main priority for the next four years after he was forced to take a seat in the stand for the tourists’ 2-1 series win Down Under this summer.

The 21-year-old Glasgow full-back was the youngest man in Warren Gatland’s squad for the victorious tour of Australia.

But the Scotland international was denied a place in the 23-man matchday line-up for any of the three Tests as Wales number 15 Leigh Halfpenny kicked the Lions towards their first series triumph in 16 years.

The team are not due to set sail again until their New Zealand tour in 2017, but Hogg will do everything he can to make sure his place is booked.

He said: “I had nothing to lose down there. I wasn’t expected to be in a starting position but in the end I played five of the 10 games.

“So I’m happy enough with how it went. Obviously I was disappointed not to be involved in the Test teams but when you are sitting behind the man (Halfpenny) who gets named man of the series, it takes a bit of the pain away.

“When the team was named for the last match of the tour and I found out I wasn’t going to play in the final Test, it just made me all the hungrier to be involved next time.

“It’s four years away and I’ll concentrate on Glasgow and Scotland until it comes around. But getting a Test slot is my main target.”

Hogg featured in five of the Lions’ 10 tour matches and was even shifted forward to fill in at fly-half in the wins over the Combined County Queensland-New South Wales XV.

Despite having never featured at number 10 as a professional, his commanding display suggested a feel for the position and had pundits tipping him to make the move on a more permanent basis.

Hogg, however, is happy to stay at full-back when he gets back into action with Glasgow.

He said: “I had a great experience in Australia this summer. I loved it and learned a lot. I was the youngest player on tour and had a lot of players to learn from.

“Having Leigh Halfpenny and Rob Kearney in my position for starts was brilliant. Then I got moved to 10 for a couple of games and I had Jonny Sexton and Owen Farrell (to work with). That’s only going to improve me as a player.

“But I don’t really want to be playing 10 and 15 back and forth. We have got three 10s here at Glasgow in Ruaridh Jackson, Dunccy Weir and Scott Wight who can step up there and do a good job.

“I will play wherever I’m told to play but the point I’m trying to get across is that I don’t want to play 10 one week, 15 the next, unless I really have to.

“I want to get settled in to one position and work hard on my game. If I do need to go to 10, I’ll step up there but first and foremost make myself available for the 15 jersey.

“Versatility is a great thing to have but it’s about getting consistency in the one position. If I’m going to be playing 10, then I’d like to play it for a number of weeks. If it’s 15, then much the same. Switching back and forward is not what I’m after.

“But I know how our coach Gregor Townsend wants to play and I guarantee that won’t happen.”

Glasgow reached the semi-finals of the RaboDirect Pro12 play-offs last term, but Hogg was not happy with coming up short on their trophy objective.

He said: “We set a target last year of becoming the first Scottish team to win the league and this year will be much the same.

“The crowds were getting bigger and bigger as the season went on last year and the season tickets are up by a hell of a lot this time. That is exactly what we are after.”