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Bryan Easson Exclusive: You could tell from the start that Stuart was a very special talent – I’m so proud of what he achieved

It is just over a week since Stuart Hogg signalled his intention to hang up his boots with immediate effect, but it is now around 17 years ago that Bryan Easson first came across the rugby talent.

Hogg was just a teen then, but even at that young age Easson, now head coach of the Scotland women’s team, could see that he had something about him and had the ability to really go places.

Bryan Easson Exclusive: You could tell from the start that Stuart was a very special talent – I’m so proud of what he achieved

In the last decade and a half or so Hogg, who turned 31 in June, certainly has gone places and will go down as a Scottish sporting great. Between 2012 and earlier this year, he turned out 100 times for his country, playing in two Rugby World Cups in 2015 and 2019.

He also went on the British & Irish Lions tours of 2013, 2017 and 2021. Club-wise, after coming through at Hawick RFC, he won the PRO12 with Glasgow Warriors in 2015 followed by lifting the European Champions Cup and Gallagher Premiership in 2020 with Exeter Chiefs.

In March, the full-back said that he would be stopping playing the professional game after the upcoming Rugby World Cup but following a period of reflection, Hogg decided to finish his career prior to the showpiece event in France due to the strain on his body.

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