‘This is absolutely breaking me’ – Stuart Hogg on his shock retirement

Stuart Hogg walks off during one his final Tests for Scotland. Credit: Alamy

Stuart Hogg walks off during one his final Tests for Scotland. Credit: Alamy

Former Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg opened up on the impacts of the game on his body and family in the first interview since his retirement.

Scotland’s top try-scorer’s sudden retirement came as a shock to most in the rugby world but was something Hogg suggested his body needed.

Body took a toll

Hogg details how he looked forward to his knee surgery last year as he could get a break from the game. It was the same injury that the 31-year-old felt prevented him from getting back to his best form.

“I remember getting to, probably, this point last year, and I was going: ‘I feel that I’m emotionally and physically drained with the game’,” Hogg told TNT Sports.

“The exciting thing for me was – I was getting my knee operated on – it gave me time away from the game, a chance to work on another areas. When I came back, I just couldn’t get going again. My body dictates my mood, and if my body is feeling rubbish, then my whole mood is the exact same.

“I used to get stick towards the latter stages of my career for being out of the changing room as quick as I possibly could, and that was because my mood was affecting everything… my body’s affecting my mood, and my mood affected everything.”

Harsh reality

Things became even more difficult for Hogg, whose body was not only suffering from the demands of rugby but also prevented him from spending quality time with his children.

“I got to the stage in my rugby career that I was missing my kids growing up,” he said.

“When my son, who is seven, turns up to me, and I come home from training, and he’s like: ‘Dad, do you want to go outside and play football?’ And I’m like: ‘Mate, I can’t. I genuinely can’t, like I’m absolutely beat’.

“His little face, and he’s out in the rain… I sit there, and I watch him, and he’s on his own, and I’m like: ‘This is absolutely breaking me’. I want to be there for my kids.”

Making the decision

The former full-back had been involved with the Scotland wider squad and looked to be heading to the Rugby World Cup, which all made the telling of his decision to head coach Gregor Townsend that much more difficult.

“I was bricking it to call Gregor, to be honest, because I felt like he went through the selection process of involving me in the wider squad, and there’s been some conversations about it,” he revealed.

“Having the conversation with Gregor saying I was completely done was incredibly tough. I explained all the reasons behind it, and the best thing about the conversation is that not once did he try and change my mind.

“He was really happy for me because all he cared about was me as a person. I felt a sense of love coming from it, and I was like: ‘This is lovely’.”

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READ MORE: Finn Russell encouraged by new playmaking axis after Stuart Hogg’s retirement

The article ‘This is absolutely breaking me’ – Stuart Hogg on his shock retirement appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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