Stuart Hogg relishes taking on mighty All Blacks
Last Updated: 07/11/12 3:46pm
Stuart Hogg: Relishing reunion with New Zealand on Sunday
Glasgow full-back Stuart Hogg insists he will "not take a backwards step" when Scotland take on world champions New Zealand at Murrayfield on Sunday.
The full-back is more familiar than most of his team-mates with the All Blacks - he was invited to train with the Kiwis when they were last in Scotland back in 2010.
"It was ridiculous," Hogg said. "I just remember rocking up in the morning and seeing the likes of Dan Carter, Sonny Bill Williams, Richie McCaw... it was unbelievable. It was great to have the experience of training with them.
"I had to take a backward step and pinch myself thinking 'Am I really here?' But I will not be taking a backward step this time round. It's going to be a tough ask for us to go out and win but we'll do all we can.
"We're underdogs, with them being world champions, but maybe we can have that on our side."
Hogg was one of the few bright sparks in a dreadful 2011-12 season for Scotland which saw them fail to qualify from the group stage at the World Cup and finish bottom in the Six Nations.
But they finished their season on a high with victories in Australia, Fiji and Samoa with Hogg one of the leading lights and in the summer he has added six kilograms in bulk to his frame while retaining his renowned speed.
"I've been looking at the likes of Israel Dagg and (Ireland's) Rob Kearney and looking at what they do, adding little bits of their game to my game," he said.
On the threat of All Blacks star Dagg, Hogg added: "His evasion skills are second to none. He's got a good long kicking game and he's always there and thereabouts with ball in hand.
"I'll have to keep an eye on him - but hopefully he'll have to keep an eye on me as well."