‘Hacked off’ Hogg fired-up by France’s Six Nations title talk

The Scotland captain feels their chance to secure a best-ever finish in the championship has been forgotten in build-up to Friday.

‘Hacked off’ Hogg fired-up by France’s Six Nations title talk SNS Group

Scotland have no lack of motivation to wreck France’s Six Nations title dreams, according to captain Stuart Hogg.

The Scots full back said he is “hacked off” by the focus on what Les Bleus need to do to win the championship on Friday night.

And Hogg insisted Scotland will be motivated to win in Paris to repay their teammates who had to be left behind due to a contractual wrangle with English club sides.

Gregor Townsend could only call on five of his England-based stars for the match after lengthy discussions were held to release them from club duty.

The match is being held outside of the international selection window due to a Covid outbreak in the France camp last month, which forced the tie to be postponed from its original date in February.

France, who have been able to call on their full compliment of players as they are all contract to clubs in their homeland, need a won of 21 points or more and a four try bonus point in order to overtake Wales and win the Six Nations.

But Scotland can leapfrog their hosts and finish in second place if they win by eight points or more.

Asked what it will take to win in France under such circumstances, Hogg said: “It will take a complete 80 minute performance on both sides of the ball.

“A lot has been said – and it is actually beginning to hack me off – about the fact that they need to get 20 points.

“We read a quote from one of their players saying they’ve got ‘a trophy to win’.

“As a proud Scotsman that hurt me a lot.

“A lot has been said about what they need to do but if we win by eight points we finish the highest we have ever finished in a Six Nations.

“That is the motivation for us. It’s going to be one hell of a challenge, it is going to be an open game of rugby and one that we all want to be involved in.”

Hogg, who plays his club rugby with the European champions Exeter Chiefs, is one of the five exiles called upon by Townsend.

Others, such as Saracens winger Sean Maitland, will have to watch from home on Friday night.

Hogg said: “I could see how much it meant to Sean Maitland that he wasn’t going to be included. That hurt him a lot.

“And the rest of the other boys – Duncan Taylor, Jamie Bhatti – boys that have had a massive impact on what we’ve done in training and in games over the past few weeks.

“We are going out there on Friday to put in a performance they would be proud of and that they have put massive efforts into.”

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