The ‘special’ Stuart Hogg was praised prior to Scotland’s century

Scotland's Stuart Hogg applauding supporters after a game Credit: Alamy

Scotland’s Stuart Hogg applauding supporters after a game Credit: Alamy

Scotland’s defense coach Steve Tandy praised the “special” Stuart Hogg ahead of the fullback’s 100th game for his country.

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

The star led his country from 2020 to 2022 before being replaced this year by Jamie Ritchie. In 2021, Hogg scored his 25th try for Scotland to become the all-time try scorer.

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

“Special person”

“In this day and age, with the amount of rugby these guys are playing, to have the motivation and energy to represent Scotland makes him a special player and a special human being,” said Tandy.

“The pride he has in representing Scotland is great to see. It will be a huge achievement for him and well deserved.

“He brings loads of energy with the way he plays and there is an excitement around him.

“I know people talk about Hoggy on offense and everything, but the energy he brings on defense, the communication, the focus, it’s great to have him part of this group.”

Tandy is enjoying the challenge of taking on the world’s best Ireland this weekend and hopes the team can build on their solid campaign.

“They are the number one team in the world for a reason, but we need to see what we can add to the game,” he said. “I think we played really well in the first three games.

“We showed a lot of really positive qualities to our game. The boys are in a confident space and we are delighted to be at Murrayfield in front of a packed house playing for a Triple Crown.

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

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

“We are a little frustrated and disappointed with the time it has taken and when the ban started,” said Tandy. “The hearing itself was amazing.

“I was there myself and I thought it was handled very positively, but there was a bit of frustration with the time it took to get to the point of what games he was going to miss.”

Replacements ready

However, Tandy is confident that Scotland’s second tier stocks are strong enough to absorb the Gilchrist blow.

“In the second row, the depth of our team 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 plays really well, so we’ve got plenty of depth there.”

READ MORE: Six Nations: Five storylines to follow in the penultimate weekend, including Le Crunch and Ireland’s Toughest Test

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