MX23RW : Wednesday, January 16 00:13:46

Stuart Hogg boosts Scotland with early return

Stuart Hogg boosts Scotland with early return

Scotland star Stuart Hogg will be assessed ahead of the Autumn Test match against Fiji at Murrayfield on Saturday after returning to the squad ahead of schedule following ankle surgery.

The Glasgow Warriors full-back picked up the injury in the win over Munster on September 7 and following his operation he was expected to be out for up to 12 weeks.

The Scots host Fiji before games against South Africa and Argentina and Hogg, 26, was one of six players called into Gregor Townsend’s squad following the 21-10 defeat by Wales in Cardiff at the weekend.

Scotland’s forward coach Danny Wilson said: “There are still a few boxes to tick, a few decisions to make on that. But he has made really good progress.

“He is ahead of schedule so we will see how he goes the rest of this week.”

Wilson joined Townsend’s backroom staff in the summer and is looking for the Scots to  make up for the defeat in Wales.

The former Cardiff Blues head coach said: “I am really looking forward to my first experience of Murrayfield.

“A lot of guys have told me the atmosphere at those games is second to none.

“So from the point of view of being at home, it is a really important game for us and coming off a defeat at Wales, and building towards the Six Nations and in the longer term the World Cup, it is an important game for us.

“Fiji have got some fantastic individual rugby players, extremely dangerous rugby players and some of the biggest men you will see on a rugby field as well.

“Therefore physically, we have to be ready to deal for that and defensively we have to be ready to deal with that and also (show) improvement from the Wales game, put a bit more of an imprint on our attacking and finishing-zone rugby.

“We created enough opportunities and those we create this weekend we have to finish.”

Prop WP Nel insists Edinburgh team-mate Viliame Mata will be just one of many Fiji threats.

He said: “I think their whole team is dangerous. They are all good ball players and we need to be on our best on Saturday.

“We are all frustrated. The Wales game was one we all wanted to win and in the back of the minds I think we could have won it.

“We want to go out this weekend and turn it around and get a win on the board.”

Hogg was joined by Glasgow Warriors team-mates Adam Ashe (back-row), Scott Cummings (lock) and Nick Grigg (centre) with English Premiership pair Josh Strauss (Sale Sharks back-row) and Duncan Weir (Worcester Warriors stand-off) also called in.

The additions follow injuries sustained by Scarlets back-row Blade Thomson (head) and Harlequins centre James Lang (rib) playing for their clubs at the weekend, while David Denton (Leicester Tigers) and Matt Scott (Edinburgh) continue their ongoing recovery from head injuries with their respective clubs.

Edinburgh trio Ross Ford (hooker), Henry Pyrgos (scrum-half) and Dougie Fife (wing) have been released back to the club.


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