Brought to you by Royal Bank of Scotland, this feature looks back at the path taken to the top by one of Scotland’s heroes – and his very promising future.
Back in the 2008/09 season when 16-year-old Stuart Hogg was making his way into senior rugby with Hawick YM he could not have imagined the journey he was about to go on.
Growing up in the Borders town, like many of his friends all the young Hogg wanted to do was play rugby – and boy has he done that in some style!
In April and May 2009 he came to the attention of the wider rugby audience with some amazing showings for Hawick YM and then Hawick on the Kings of the Sevens circuit.
His eye for a gap, his footwork and speed were very impressive for a teenager and from there his rise has been rapid.
He was soon turning out for Scotland at age-grade level and was signed up by Glasgow Warriors.
A debut came for the pro side at the age of just 19 in early 2011 and by the end of 2016 he was fast approaching 100 appearances for the Scotstoun outfit. With them he lifted the Guinness PRO12 trophy in 2014/15 and he also went on the British & Irish Lions tour to Australia in 2013.
However, it is in a Scotland jersey that he has really captured the nation’s hearts and Hogg, now just 24, has become a talismanic figure for Scotland under Vern Cotter.
The full-back, who made his debut in 2012, is expected to reach 50 caps for his country during this year’s RBS 6 Nations – he was on 48 before the event began – and he has already run in 13 tries for Scotland.
“I loved playing rugby with my friends in Hawick when I was younger and it is all about having fun,” Hogg said.
“That is why I try and encourage as many youngsters as possible to play the game – and enjoy it – because you never know where you might end up.”
Former Scotland centre Graeme Morrison, who now works for RBS, said: “Stuart was a young player coming through when I was coming to the end of my career and he was a great talent even then.
“He has worked hard on his game and is such a great attacking threat for Scotland who excites the crowds.”
Hogg’s showings in last year’s event eventually saw him crowned the RBS Player of the Championship – and the great news for Scottish rugby fans is that there is much more to come from the man who just loves to entertain.
In Scotland’s last match against Georgia in November, he scored two tries and then was at his best as Glasgow defeated star-studded Racing 92 twice in Europe in December.
Off the pitch Hogg is also a great example for youngsters growing up – as are his international team mates – and as a result the Royal Bank of Scotland is delighted to be associated with the showman.
Hogg always takes time to sign autographs and pose for selfies with fans while he has shown them that if you set your mind to something, anything is possible.
Like his hero Bill McLaren used to, Hogg, who has a wife and a young family, always enjoys returning to his roots in Hawick and he is an inspiration to all young sports fans in the town and beyond.
Royal Bank of Scotland has long been a supporter of rugby right across Scotland, backing more than 150 Scottish clubs through RugbyForce in the last two years. Read more and win great prizes at the Royal Bank of Scotland rugby website.