Sean Lineen says Warrior Hogg can roar for Lions

STUART HOGG'S try-scoring exploits in the Calcutta Cup defeat by England can give him the platform to mount a challenge for a British Lions place this summer.

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Stuart Hogg cemented outstanding performance against England with a try
Stuart Hogg cemented outstanding performance against England with a try

The 21-year-old's searing pace saw him play a key part in his Glasgow Warriors' team-mate Sean Maitland's try and led to his own outstanding late touchdown.

And now his former boss Sean Lineen is tipping Lions head coach Warren Gatland to circle Hogg's name as the potential starting full-back for the trip to Australia this summer.

The Warriors star has the chance to build on his impressive start to the Six Nations when Italy come calling at Murrayfield on Saturday, with two further home bows against Ireland and Wales next up.

Lineen, the man who discovered Hogg and gave him his Glasgow debut, is backing his former charge to book a place on the plane for Oz.

The former Scotland Grand Slam-winning centre said: "I thought Hoggy was absolutely outstanding at Twickenham.

"His pace and his powerful running were eye-catching and, on the hard surfaces of Australia, he will certainly be a sensation.

"If you look at any of the other full-backs from over the weekend then Stuart was the outstanding performer and our best man by a long way.

"The great thing about Hoggy's performance was that it was a pretty complete one.

"He also showed by producing that performance at Twickenham against England in the Calcutta Cup that he is a very much a big-game performer. That is vital when you are hoping to play for the British and Irish Lions.

"Some of his clearing kicks were outstanding and he took us from being right up against it behind our posts to 50 metres back down the field with one kick.

"His tackling was also very solid and there is no way that Gatland could not have been impressed.

"But while Hoggy has really thrown down the gauntlet to his other challengers at No.15 he must back up that performance and maintain that level.

"Now we have an Italian side coming to Murrayfield riding the crest of a wave after their win over France and we need another big display from Hoggy."

The Scots showed real threat from a backline that was, in effect, starved of meaningful ball as the English dominated the breakdown and the bulky Scottish pack failed to punch their weight.

But with Scotland desperate to claim their first win in the Six Nations since they defeated the Azzurri at the same venue in March 2011, Lineen is upbeat about our prospects.

He said: "There will be a lot of frustration among the forwards that we did not get the better of the English or hold our own in and around the contact.

"But that will serve as a huge motivation for the Italy match.

"When you have three home games in a season it is vital you make the most of that and because Italy is the first of these, it has extra significance, there is no doubt about that.

"But you look at Glasgow's record against the Italian sides in the PRO12 and we can take a lot of belief from that.

"There is no denying the Italian game is a must-win fixture for us and, if we do succeed, I think we can really cash in on home advantage against the Irish and Welsh."


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