Six Nations: Praise heaped on ‘special’ Stuart Hogg ahead of Scotland century

Six Nations Scotland Stuart Hogg applauds supporters after a game Credit: Alamy
Six Nations Scotland Stuart Hogg applauds supporters after a game Credit: Alamy

Scotland defence coach Steve Tandy lauded Stuart Hogg as “special” ahead of the full-back’s 100th game for his country on Sunday.

Hogg made his debut against Wales in the 2012 Six Nations and has gone on to represent Scotland with aplomb, finishing player of the tournament in Rugby’s Greatest Championship in 2016 and 2017.

The star captained his country from 2020 until 2022 before being replaced by Jamie Ritchie this year. In 2021, Hogg scored his 25th try for Scotland, becoming their all-time leading try scorer.

Tandy praised the person Hogg is and the energy he brings to the team environment.

“Special human being”

“In this day and age, with the amount of rugby these boys play, to have the motivation and energy he has to represent Scotland, he’s a special player and a special human being,” said Tandy.

“The pride he has for representing Scotland is brilliant to see. It’ll be a huge achievement for him and well deserved.

“He’s bringing bags of energy with the way he plays and there’s an excitement around him.

“I know people talk about Hoggy in attack and things, but the energy he brings in defence, the communication, the focus, it’s brilliant to have him part of this group.”

Tandy is relishing the challenge of facing the best-ranked team in the world, Ireland, this weekend and is hoping the team can build on their solid campaign.

“They’re the number one team in the world for a reason but we need to look at what we can bring to the game,” he said. “I think we’ve played really well in the first three games.

“We’ve shown lots of really positive attributes to our game. The boys are in a confident space and we’re excited to be at Murrayfield in front of a full house playing for a Triple Crown.”

Meanwhile, second-row Grant Gilchrist has been ruled out of the remainder of the Six Nations due to suspension following his red card against France.

Scotland were frustrated it took so long for the decision to be made.

“We’re a little frustrated and disappointed with the length of time it took and when the match ban started from,” said Tandy. “The actual hearing itself was great.

“I was on it myself and I thought it was handled really positively, but there was a little bit of frustration over the length of time it took to get to the point of what games he would be missing.”

Replacements at the ready

Tandy, however, is convinced Scotland’s second-row stocks are strong enough to deal with the Gilchrist blow.

“In the second row, our squad depth has grown over the last few years to be really competitive,” he said.

“We’ve got Scott Cummings back, we’ve got Jonny Gray, who came on against France and played really well, and Sam Skinner’s playing really well so we’ve got plenty depth there.”

READ MORE: Six Nations: Five storylines to follow on the penultimate weekend including Le Crunch and Ireland’s toughest test

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