Hawick rugby hero Hogg takes time out for beef encounter ahead of Calcutta Cup clash

Rugby star Stuart Hogg, second from left, with, from left, Jeff Bland, executive chef at the Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh; butcher Bel Forbes, of Bels Butchers in Edzell, Angus; and Quality Meat Scotland chairman and Perthshire beef farmer Jim McLaren to launch this years Scotch Beef promotional campaign.
Rugby star Stuart Hogg, second from left, with, from left, Jeff Bland, executive chef at the Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh; butcher Bel Forbes, of Bels Butchers in Edzell, Angus; and Quality Meat Scotland chairman and Perthshire beef farmer Jim McLaren to launch this years Scotch Beef promotional campaign.

Hawick rugby hero Stuart Hogg has got plenty on his plate already after being named yesterday in the Scotland team to face England tomorrow, but he’s alway got room for a bit more if it’s a prime cut of meat from his homeland.

The 24-year-old former Hawick High School pupil took time out this week from his preparations for this weekend’s RBS 6 Nations clash at London’s Twickenham Stadium, kicking off at 4pm, to promote the Scotch Beef brand.

Stuart Hogg enjoying a beef encounter.

Stuart Hogg enjoying a beef encounter.

“In this job, it is incredibly important to fuel your body correctly,” said Hogg, the highest-paid player in Scottish rugby history thanks to his current £375,000-a-year contract with Glasgow Warriors.

“All the training and conviction in the world won’t make up for a diet that is not right.

“Like most people I was very aware of the Scotch Beef brand before, but I have learnt a great deal more about what sets it apart from everyone I’ve met today.

“It’s been great to hear all about the traceability and quality assurance behind Scotch Beef and to get a sense of the passion and pride of those who work in the beef industry in Scotland.”

Stuart Hogg celebrating Scotland's RBS 6 Nations victory over Wales at Murrayfield.

Stuart Hogg celebrating Scotland's RBS 6 Nations victory over Wales at Murrayfield.

The new Scotch Beef campaign – using the strapline ‘there’s beef, there’s Scottish beef, then there’s Scotch Beef – aims to highlight the brand’s protected geographical indication status and will seek to target more than 14 million consumers across the UK this month and next via press, digital and billboard advertising.

Jim McLaren, chairman of Quality Meat Scotland, said: “Those who work in all parts of our industry are immensely proud of the Scotch Beef brand.

“The care and commitment which goes into producing it is second to none, and that dedication, together with the traceability and quality assurance which underpin the brand, delivers a world-class product.

“Our new campaign aims to ensure consumers are aware of all that sets the brand apart, and it is fantastic to hear top athletes like Stuart also highlighting the important role of red meat, including Scotch Beef, in a healthy diet.

“We are looking forward to taking Stuart to visit a beef cattle farm to get a better insight into the high standards of welfare and stockmanship involved, as well as the role of livestock farming in the sustainability of Scotland’s iconic landscape.

“However, we very much appreciate he has other priorities at the moment, and we wish him all the best with those.”

Full-back Hogg will also be looking to beef up Scotland’s RBS 6 Nations points tally of nine, four behind table-topping England, as he picks up his 52nd cap tomorrow.

He and his team-mates will be hoping for a first win in England since 1983, first triple crown since 1990 and first Calcutta Cup win since 2008.

Scotland have won two of their first three RBS 6 Nations games for the first time since 2006, their home victories over Ireland and Wales placing them third in the table going into the penultimate round on a highest-ever placing of fifth in the world rugby rankings.