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Stuart Hogg named RBS 6 Nations player of the championship

Scotland's Stuart Hogg has been voted the RBS 6 Nations player of the championship.

The award was decided by a combination of an online poll, of which Hogg secured over 30 per cent, and the Royal Bank and NatWest panel of former rugby players.

Hogg, who made his 43rd appearance in a Scottish shirt during the Championship, said: "I'm honoured to receive the RBS player of the championship trophy and join the list of the esteemed players that have won in the past.

"I'm extremely grateful for all the supporters who voted for me."

England's Billy Vunipola came a close second with 27 per cent of the vote, with third place awarded to the tournament's top-try scorer George North and Ireland's scrum-half Conor Murray in fourth.

Hogg returns to club duty this week with Glasgow Warriors where fit-again fellow international Jonny Gray is set to make his 50th appearance against Ulster at a sell-out Scotstoun on Friday night.

The 22-year-old lock has recovered from a pectoral injury suffered during Scotland's Six Nations victory over France.

Head coach Gregor Townsend has named 18 players who were involved with Scotland over the last couple of months for what he is expecting to be a "tough battle".

He said: "Last Friday's win over Leinster was an important victory for the club following a huge effort from all the players involved.

"Ulster have produced some high quality performances this season and are a top quality team.

"I've always admired their attack shape and they tend to bring out some very good set-piece plays. They are also a very strong defensive side.

"We've had some tight games with them over the years and we're expecting another tough battle tomorrow.

"We were proud of how our players performed and excelled for Scotland during the RBS 6 Nations and it's a real boost to have them back with us for the run-in.

"Training has been of high quality this week and you can see the desire of everyone to earn their place in the team."

Hogg will start at full-back and Finn Russell has recovered from concussion to start.

Tommy Seymour and Sean Lamont start on either wing, with a centre pairing of Mark Bennett and Alex Dunbar.

Henry Pyrgos will operate at scrum-half and Russell is named at stand-off.

Gordon Reid will pack down with Fraser Brown and Sila Puafisi, while Gray makes his first appearance since the win over Racing 92 in January, pairing up with Leone Nakarawa in the engine room.

In the backrow Rob Harley, Chris Fusaro and Josh Strauss are named with Strauss having started for Scotland against France in the recent win at BT Murrayfield.

Included on the bench is hooker James Malcolm following the announcement that he has signed a two-year professional contract with the club.


From Belfast Telegraph