Hogg is keen to fill the gap in his resume with Triple Crown

Serious injuries aside, it was clear the Hawick man would sooner or later reach 100 caps – the milestone he will achieve in this afternoon’s Six Nations game against Ireland.

However, yesterday the full-back insisted his target was not 100 caps but 53, even when that century of performances seemed a realistic goal. The number may seem arbitrary, but the reasoning behind it is a testament to Hogg’s commitment to his hometown and his enduring interest in rugby history.

“When you get one, you want two and then three and so on,” he explained after attending BT Murrayfield on the eve of the game. “But when I started playing regular rugby I just wanted to be 53.

“And people always asked me, ‘Why the hell do you want 53?’ and that was because it would make me the Hawick player with the most caps, overtaking Tony Stanger, Colin Deans and Jim Renwick. These little things start playing a little in your head.

“The game is constantly changing. It took Jim 13 years to get 52 caps. The game is completely different than it was back then.

“There is no better feeling for me to represent your country at any opportunity. It’s a feeling I love and will miss when I’m gone. And it’s a feeling right now that I’ll never take for granted. This shirt and this country mean the world to me. And I’ll do everything I can to make sure I represent it in the best possible way.”

Donna Kennedy, the former Scottish women’s No. 8, is the nation’s all-time record holder at 115. For men, only three players reached the century ahead of Hogg – Sean Lamont, Chris Paterson and Ross Ford, the leader at 110.

But those three, like Kennedy, retired some time ago, so Hogg, still only 30, has time on his side as he continues his compelling climb toward a national record. With the World Cup looming this year, he should embark on this new path sometime in 2024 and could easily end up with a total closer to 150.

The former captain will not have time to consider such pleasant possibilities this afternoon unless he can look further ahead than the game against Ireland, five points clear at the top of the championship table.

But if Scotland wins, they will have lifted the Triple Crown for the first time since Grand Slam year 1990, giving Hogg the one honor that was missing from his resume. And if they do, they’ll be back in contention for the Six Nations title itself, with just one more home game against Italy next Saturday.

He has toured three times with the British & Irish Lions, been named Player of the Championship twice, captained his country and won both the English Premiership and European Champions Cup with his club Exeter Chiefs. But even though he’s accomplished so much, this glaring omission still gnaws at him.

Despite this, he believes the current team is in a better position to win a trophy than any previous team he has been a part of.

“I think this is my 12th attempt at the Six Nations and only the first time I’ve been able to win a Triple Crown,” he said. “It just shows how far we’ve come as a squad and as a team and we’re moving towards something special. I don’t want to speak too soon but I think the guys have a great amount of trust and confidence in each other.

“I’ve been on this team for a long time and we didn’t necessarily lack that, but we believe in it more now. As for the squads, I think this is the tightest squad I’ve ever been a part of and one I’m really looking forward to hopefully being a part of for a long time to come.

Hogg is an emotionally engaged gamer and an optimist by nature. He’s been at it long enough to know how difficult it will be today to beat opponents who sit at the top of the rugby world rankings and have already cemented their status as the best team in the world during this tournament by beating their closest Beat rivals, France.

“Ireland have gained a lot of experience for this game and that’s what you want to play,” he concluded. “They want to play against the best players and the best team and to have Ireland here, number 1 in rugby in the world, is just quality for us.

“I think any game you get to play against Ireland you know it’s going to be incredibly physical and challenging. I think they are one of the smartest rugby teams I’ve ever come across.

“Ireland are up there for a reason and their record speaks volumes. Me and the rest of the guys respect them and admire them a lot, but we also know we can do a job with them and we’re looking forward to that.”

https://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/23379817.hogg-desperate-fill-gap-cv-triple-crown/?ref=rss Hogg is keen to fill the gap in his resume with Triple Crown

Russell Falcon

TheHitc is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@thehitc.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button