Stuart Hogg’s long-range kicking could be key for Lions in Test series says Neil Jenkins
Jenkins, the composite side’s kicking coach, says Hogg and fellow Lion Elliot Daly will have a key role to play in South Africa.
The Welshman thinks the pair’s ability will be particularly important in tight Test matches.
“It’s a big weapon for us having Elliot and Stuart involved in the squad, and their ability to kick long-range field goals,” said Jenkins whose kicking talents were crucial to the Lions winning the 1997 Test series in South Africa.
“Certainly, if the game is on the line and we need a longer-range attempt, or we need to nail it, we’ll certainly be thinking along those lines.”
Hogg, picked for his third Lions tour, is desperate to make the Test team this time but faces competition from Liam Williams for the full-back berth. The Welshman played at full-back in the series against New Zealand four years ago when Hogg was invalided out the tour early with a facial injury.
The Exeter player’s talents with the boot offer another dimension when it comes to Test selection, according to Jenkins.
“In the Test series, when that comes around, it’s an extra string for these boys in terms of selection when they can kick a ball, 50, 60-plus metres,” said the coach. “Both Elliot and Stuart are comfortable doing that, and Elliot did it four years ago in that third Test decider down in Auckland. That was 50-odd metres on an angle, so it was some kick, and that was [close to sea level] in Auckland.”
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