Hogg set for final home battle with Warriors

Stuart Hogg (picture by Craig Watson).
Stuart Hogg (picture by Craig Watson).

Scotland and ex-Hawick full-back Stuart Hogg is set to play his last home game for Glasgow Warriors tomorrow night (Friday).

Hogg hopes to help the Scotstoun squad further towards some silverware before he heads to Devon to join Exeter Chiefs in the Gallagher Premiership for next season.

Of Friday’s match, a Guinness Pro14 semi-final against Ulster, he said: “For me, it’s going out there and doing my individual role as I normally do. It’s about making sure I do everything I can possibly can to help the team get the win.

“After that, I can look at personal things. But, first and foremost, I want to help give us every opportunity to take a step closer to picking up trophies.”

Last season, after faltering in the wake of a brilliant start to the Pro14 season, Glasgow suffered a European quarter-final defeat to eventual champions Saracens.

Hogg reckons that was the turning point which had helped propel the Warriors back to form.

The full-back said: “The biggest thing is that we’ve learned from last year.

“We came in after the Six Nations and pretty much got a play-off place straight away. We had a massive dip in form and, come the business end of the season, we weren’t firing.

“We pretty much stood back and watched the Scarlets play, and you can’t let a team with that much quality the time and space on the ball. Ulster will be the exact same on Friday.

“It was probably the best thing that could have happened to us, in that it gave us a rocket up the backside we needed.

“It stood us in good stead and the best thing is we’ve had a good reaction on the back of that.”

Glasgow have indeed been performing well – they have won eight in a row in the league, including an end-of-season run of three wins against next opponents, Ulster, defending champions, Leinster, and then Edinburgh, who had beaten them in each of the first two 1872 Cup clashes.

What may seem strange is that, by the time they run out against Ulster, it will have been three weeks since that all-Scottish clash.

A home semi-final saw them get a week off for the quarters, while last weekend was dedicated to the European finals.

Hogg and his teammates have not let that bother them, instead taking advantage to cast a closer eye over what Ulster will offer.

Hogg added: “Three weeks off, I don’t think we’ve had that before, but it’s something out of our control.

“But we gave ourselves a home semi-final, which is the best possible outcome we can have at this stage.

“The last couple of weeks have been good, we’ve learned a lot about each other and have been trying to get our game plan in order.

“We’ve been concentrating on ourselves but also looking at Ulster and the threats they are going to pose, so we know it will be a ding-dong battle.”

Stuart Hogg is a Land Rover ambassador. Land Rover understands and shares the values of rugby.