AFTER a season filled with personal accolades and recognition for his stellar performances on a rugby field, Stuart Hogg can count among his finest achievements being able to inspire the entire Scotland squad, as well as coach Andy Robinson, to toast Hawick’s Common-Riding with a rum and milk.
The national team were in Australia during the biggest week in the town’s calendar, and proud Teri Hogg indulged in the homegrown cocktail – before inspiring a full round of the mixture Down Under and during their subsequent visit to Fiji.
It was perhaps little coincidence that Scotland went on to record a treble of wins, over Australia, Fiji and Samoa.
Hogg admits being upset at missing the Common-Riding at which his good friend Ross Nichol was Cornet, but took comfort in being able to celebrate with at least one seasonal traditional.
“We had some rum and milks in Australia, then carried on into Fiji,” he told the Hawick News. “Some of the boys liked it, some not so much.
“With one of my best friends being Cornet, there were a couple of tears before I went away. But, the Common-Riding will always there – my career comes first.”
Hogg is now enjoying some ‘off’ time back in Hawick, with weddings of two friends and a family holiday to Portugal in the offing. While he is excited about the forthcoming Autumn Test series on home turf, which includes visits from New Zealand, South Africa and Tonga, he must firstly try to regain his place in a new-look Glasgow team after a “dream” first season there.
“I just want to build on the season I’ve had,” he said. “It’ll be a massive challenge for me to get in the team, but if I can do that I’d like to win more caps, too.”