‘It would cap a great week for Scottish sport’: Captain Stuart Hogg wants to continue national feel-good factor with Autumn Nations Cup… as he reveals they were ‘absolutely buzzing’ when Steve Clarke’s side qualified for Euro 2020
- Scotland’s rugby players want to keep the national feel-good factor going
- They were inspired by Scotland’s footballers who beat Serbia to make the Euros
- Stuart Hogg’s Scots play Italy in their first fixture in the Autumn Nations Cup
- The Scots have not lost to Italy since 2015 but will not take record for granted
Scotland’s rugby players want to keep the national feel-good factor going after the footballers dramatically qualified for the European Championship this week.
Stuart Hogg’s Scots play Italy on Saturday in their first fixture in the Autumn Nations Cup in Florence, and having beaten them, France and Wales in the Six Nations, they are ready to kick on.
And they were inspired by Steve Clarke’s footballers who beat Serbia on penalties to make a first major tournament since 1998 on Thursday.
Scotland’s rugby players want to keep the national feel-good factor going in Autumn Nations
They were inspired by footballers who beat Serbia to make a first major tournament since 1998
‘We were absolutely delighted for the football boys,’ said full back Hogg.
‘They’ve been around the Oriam training ground for the last few weeks so it’s great to see them succeed. For the nation, what they achieved was massive. A lot of us sat around and watched the game and we were absolutely buzzing for it.
‘The big thing which hit home was that we are there to inspire the nation and the football boys did exactly that. Now it’s our turn to inspire the nation and put smiles on people’s faces.
‘It has been a tough year for everybody so if we can play a small part by putting smiles on people’s faces by getting results for everybody, then that’s us doing our jobs.
‘How good would it be if we were to win on Saturday? It would cap a great week for Scottish sport and that’s our aim.
‘I watched it in the bath trying to get myself ready for today. We were buzzing and when the boys came down in the morning it was the talk of breakfast and it just put a smile on everyone’s faces. They inspired us and the nation last night so here’s hoping we can do exactly the same.’
The Scots have not lost to Italy since 2015, but despite that run will not take victory for granted
Scotland are in a group with the Italians, French and Fijians — the latter two had their game cancelled due to positive Covid cases in the Fijian camp — and have a good chance of doing well on recent form.
The Scots have not lost to Italy since 2015, but despite that run will not take victory for granted.
Hogg said: ‘We are 100 per cent respecting the opposition. We know it’s going to be a hugely physical test, and we know that they have strengths all over the park as individuals.
‘We have the more experienced team in terms of the number of caps but they are playing at home and they have absolutely everything to play for, the exact same as we have.
‘So you can talk about momentum and runs — and hopefully ours will continue — but you’ve got to make it continue. We’ve got to make things happen, we can’t just sit back and think it’s going to click for us eventually.
‘If we let a team like Italy come at us at their home then they’re just going to get better and better. So we 100 per cent respect the opposition, but I’ve got full confidence and belief in my team that we can go there and win.’
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