STUART Hogg has capped a “dream” debut season in the professional ranks by being named Glasgow Warriors’ Young Player of the Season.
The former Greens starlet started the year with only two top team appearances to his name, and was still part of the Warriors’ Elite Development programme.
Having initially seized the chance to shine during the Rugby World Cup window, the 19-year-old quickly established a reputation as one of the most exciting talents in the European game, combining pace, craft and game intelligence to outstanding effect.
Hogg scored his first Warriors try in the thumping 34-13 win away to Cardiff Blues, and landed a memorable hat-trick against reigning RaboDirect PRO12 champions Munster in Cork two weeks ago.
He told the Hawick News: “I knew I was in contention for the award but I didn’t see it coming at all. It just sums up a dream first season in professional rugby. Everything that’s come my way has been unbelievable. Maybe I’ve been a bit lucky but you need a bit of luck.”
The teenager, who is comfortable at full-back or in the centre, won international recognition in the recent RBS 6 Nations Championship, contributing a terrific score on his first Murrayfield appearance against France.
He said: “The highlight of the year was definitely getting capped against Wales, that really was a dream come true and something I’ll never forget.”
Glasgow Warriors players, staff and supporters came together to commend the team’s achievements so far this season at a unique awards dinner staged in conjunction with the Bill McLaren Foundation and Help for Heroes.
And Hogg was joined by a familiar friend at the event in the shape of former Scotland and British Lions centre and mentor Jim Renwick.
He said: “It was good having Jim there speaking and there was a fair bit of Hawick banter. He was a great mentor and he spoke about what Bill did for him, so it was great to get his perspective.”