11 Mar Hogg | Key questions with the in-form full-back
We caught up with in-form full-back Stuart Hogg to address some of the key questions leading into today’s RBS 6 Nations clash with England at Twickenham (kick-off 4pm) – live on ITV/STV.
“We are very much excited for the challenge against England, they are a quality outfit. You know where their strengths are, we are going to have to be on the money defensively. In terms of us, if we can get some good go forward and get our set-piece functioning then it puts the backs on the front foot and we love going forward.”
The championship, the Lions…
“For us, we just very much focusing on getting the win first and foremost. We truly believe that we can come down here and get the win. We’ve had a good couple of weeks preparations and the boys are ready to go.
“We talked of our goals before the start of the 6 Nations so now it’s about making our goals a reality.”
Defensive scrutiny at Twickenham…
“There are times in the game where we are going to get ball on the front foot as I said it all starts upfront. If we can get dominance up front and good go forward, then Finn [Russell] will be able to release the backs.
“Defensively we will be challenged, there will be high balls, they will stick them on me but I am fully aware of what is coming so it’s about being mature about the situation and dealing with it.”
Is there a calm before the game after all the preparations?
“I just want to get out there and play. For me it’s been a long couple of weeks since the Welsh game. The boys are rested up well. It’s a great place to play, I think the last time we played here [v England] we were leading at half-time, so it’s going to take a complete 80-minute performance to get a win but we are fully aware of that and we are ready to go.”
What’s it like to still be in the competition at this stage?
“This is the first time in my career that it’s got to round 4 and we are still in the hunt and that is hugely exciting for everyone. It’s nothing short of what we deserve, we have worked hard for it and what better opportunity than playing away at Twickenham. You want to play rugby; this is why we play rugby for these massive games. It’s a huge opportunity for us to go out, express ourselves and try and get the win.”
Experience with Glasgow, does that help?
“We were in three semi-finals before winning the title so we are very much aware of what it takes to win trophies. We’ve had that taste of success and it was amazing but it’s very much getting our hands on that next trophy. We’ve got a huge opportunity in Europe with Glasgow but in terms of Scotland we are going into round 4 still in the hunt so what better way to continue our 6 Nations.”
What do you think of playing at Twickenham as a stadium?
“I love playing here. Unfortunately we have not been able to get the win but like I said last time we were winning at half time and going off ‘O Flower of Scotland’. For us as proud Scotsmen that was terrific, so here’s hoping there is a big amount of support down here that are singing again.”