Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Hogg happiest at full-back

Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg has hinted he would prefer interim head coach Scott Johnson to resist calls to move him into the midfield for this week's clash with Italy.

Hogg was the Scots' top performer at Twickenham as they kicked off their RBS 6 Nations campaign with a disappointing 38-18 defeat to England. And the display by the Glasgow back was the most reassuring aspect for Johnson as Hogg set up Sean Maitland's opening try before adding a late touchdown himself.

Hogg told Press Association Sport: "I enjoy being at 15. I get plenty of space there that I can utilise for my kicking game, or I can use my passing game and, as you saw at the weekend, my running game. So I'm happy to play wherever but I enjoy 15 mostly."

But the occasions when Hogg could get on the ball were frustratingly seldom and former Scotland stand-off Craig Chalmers has already appealed to Johnson to push the 20-year-old up to outside centre in a bid to get him involved more often.

Hogg added: "I enjoyed playing my part down there against England but it is a team game after all. I'm just honoured to be a part of that team.

"Hopefully I'll be in the team again for the Italy game when it gets named tomorrow.

"Wherever I'm played, I'm just happy to get a jersey. I'll speak to the coaches and see what they want from me. It's down to them after all."

Johnson did not hold back with his criticism of a team that failed to get to grips with England's powerful pack at the breakdowns. Those words stung a deflated Scotland squad that travelled south ahead of the game determined to end a 30-year wait for a victory on English soil.

Hogg, though, admits the harsh tones of Johnson's assessment were merited but insists they have not pierced the side's fragile morale ahead of the Murrayfield meeting with the Italians on Sunday.

"We are all disappointed with the loss against England," he said. "But we have to move on. We have Italy coming up on Saturday, so we have drawn a line under the game at Twickenham and are focused on the game ahead."


From Belfast Telegraph