Scotland captain Stuart Hogg has recalled being awestruck on his first tour with the British and Irish Lions when he played alongside Brian O’Driscoll.
Hogg was just 20 years old when he played for the Lions for the first time back in 2013 and he found himself in a team with players he had grown up watching.
The soon-to-be three times Lions tourist was speaking to The Scotsman about his experiences from 2013 and 2017, and recalled his favourite moment in the red jersey so far.
ONE MONTH TO GO!
— Lions Series (@LionsSeries) June 7, 2021
‘I got to play with my hero Brian O’Driscoll.’
“I had the chance to learn from some legends of the game and it really just made me want to get better and better and have an involvement again on the next tour,” Hogg said.
“My best moment with the Lions would probably be in one of the games in 2013 (against the Combined New South Wales-Queensland Country team) when I was playing at 10 and I got to play with my hero Brian O’Driscoll.
“So I was looking outside and I had Jamie Roberts and Brian O’Driscoll and Conor Murray was at scrum half. I was in awe of these guys and I couldn’t quite believe I was playing alongside them.
“I had to pinch myself at times. I was doing a miss pass and it was hitting Brian O’Driscoll – it was the stuff dreams were made of.”
Stuart Hogg’s long wait for a Lions test cap.
Despite touring with the Lions on two previous occasions, Hogg is yet to win a test cap for the side, although that is likely to change soon should he stay fit.
As the youngest player on tour in 2013, Hogg wasn’t expected to play in any of the tests against Australia but the Scottish fullback was tipped to play against the All Blacks four years later.
Unfortunately, Hogg suffered a freak accident in the Lions’ warm-up game against the Crusaders and he was subsequently ruled out of the three tests against New Zealand.
The Scotland captain revealed his frustration with the last tour and admitted that he expected to play a role in at least one of the three tests against the All Blacks.
“To have the last tour taken away from me was really quite disappointing and it hurt me for a long time. So I’ve been targeting this for a while now,” Hogg revealed.
“I played some of my best rugby going into that tour and felt I was in a good place. I’d have backed myself to be there or thereabouts and definitely in the conversations to be in the test team.
“I can’t change what happened now it’s all gone but I’m in control of what happens in the future and I’ll be doing everything I possibly can to be involved in the big games.”