Hodge challenges Hogg to kick on
February 20, 2013
Stuart Hogg has shone for Scotland during the Six Nations © PA Photos
Scotland coach Duncan Hodge has praised Stuart Hogg's form but has emphasised that the fullback must replicate his impressive Six Nations performances if he is to book a place on the British & Irish Lions tour come the summer.
Hogg has been tipped as a contender for spot in the Lions squad after scoring impressive tries against England and Italy. But Hodge has warned the Glasgow fullback he cannot rest on his laurels ahead of the Murrayfield clash with Ireland on Sunday. Hogg is likely to come up against Irish No.15 Rob Kearney who is also pushing for a spot on the plane to Australia.
But Hodge insists that Hogg is an "incredibly talented player". "He has got some great attributes and to be put in that mix, you have got to play well five weeks out of five," Hodge said. "You have got to play well season after season, and that's Hoggy's challenge now, to keep reproducing that good form.
"That's what rugby is about and what being a good player is about, replicating characteristics and form over a sustained period. He's an incredibly talented player. What we are after from all the guys is just that they back it up week to week. That's where we are going as a squad - Italy has been and gone. It's about what happens on Sunday."
And Hodge has also praised Greig Laidlaw for his performances so far. Laidlaw was previously used by Scotland at fly-half but in the first two matches of the Six Nations he has been named at No.9.
"You would not say it's easy for most players but it seems to be fairly easy for him, which is a credit to him," Hodge said. "He has adapted well and wherever he has played, he has been an integral part of Scotland over the last year.
"It definitely helps when you are scoring tries and it becomes seven instead of five and you are building scoreboard pressure. It is an important aspect of the game, so it's great if he can continue to kick his kicks."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"This team deserves to be recognised as the greatest of all time." Huw Richards looks at Gareth Edwards' final match for Wales
The two leading contenders for the best modern open-side flanker go head to head in Paris on Saturday. John Taylor assesses the tale of the tape
Move over, Castro - from falling off a chair to stepping off the team bus, Scrum Sevens recounts some of the strangest rugby injuries ever
Martin Gillingham on the latest from France and why the national side can learn a thing or two from Top 14 side Bordeaux Begles