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Hogg seals Premiership move

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Hogg seals Premiership move

Exeter Chiefs Director of Rugby Rob Baxter has spoken of his delight after confirming Scotland and British Lions full-back Stuart Hogg will be heading to Sandy Park next season.

The 26-year-old back has agreed a two-year deal with the Devon club, bringing to a close a nine-season stay at current club Glasgow Warriors.

Hogg’s arrival is certainly a statement of intent from the Chiefs, but it’s a move Baxter insists is a ‘perfect fit’ for both parties.

“We’re delighted that Stuart has decided to join us,” said Baxter. “We’ve tracked him for some time and we actually wanted to sign before he signed his last contract at Glasgow.At that stage it wasn’t the right time for him to move, but now it is and we feel he will be a fantastic addition to our squad.

“Not only is he an exceptional rugby player, but we feel he brings a whole host of other attributes that we think can help really add to us as a team.”

Hogg’s arrival is Baxter’s first move in terms of squad strengthening for next season, but it’s a significant one given the quality that the Scotsman will provide.

“Yes, it’s a statement on our part,” added Baxter. “But, anyone who knows us and where we want to go, will understand that for us to move forward and win trophies – which is undoubtedly what we want to do – we have to back ourselves fully and that means bringing in players who we feel will take us to that next level.

“I’ve no doubt Stuart will be a quality addition to our squad. Not only is he vastly experienced, having played on some of the biggest stages in world rugby, but speaking to him he’s also very ambitious about developing his own game and experiencing new challenges.

“His qualities, particularly in the back-field, his stability and the threat he can pose in terms of counter-attacking, in a lot of ways it’s perfect fit for both ourselves and for Stuart.”

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Certainly, Exeter’s all-court game – based largely on their attacking principles – will be music to the ears of Hogg, who has not only won 63 caps for Scotland, but has previously been on two Lions tours and was named Six Nations Player of the Tournament in successive years.

Hogg will be the fifth British Lion to play for the Chiefs, following in the stud marks of Andy Reed, Geoff Parling, Jack Nowell and Alex Cuthbert.

“I’m very excited about the move, it’s a great opportunity for myself and my family,” said Hogg. “Like a lot of people I’ve seen how the Chiefs have risen over the last few years and I am a big fan of the way they play their rugby.

“Obviously, it’s a new challenge for me, but it’s also one that I am very much looking forward to. I’ve spoken to a few people about the club, the people and the area, and all I’ve heard is lots of positives.”

Hogg, who won his 63rd cap in Scotland’s 54-17 win over Fiji at the weekend, has made over 100 appearance for the Warriors since making his breakthrough as a teenager in 2011.

He added: “This is a decision that’s taken a great deal of thought as I’ve loved my nine seasons at Glasgow Warriors. I said I would decide my next step for family and rugby reasons and feel now is the right time to gain new rugby experiences and push myself in different situations where I will be challenged and hopefully improve further.

“I’m proud of what I have achieved with Glasgow and Scotland so far and would like to thank the club and Scottish Rugby for all their support. They have supported me when I had made my decision to move on.”

“Sitting down with both Rob and Ali, I like what they had to say, not just about the club, but how they wanted to play, and how they saw things moving forward,” continued Hogg, who has previously been on two Lions tours, won the then Pro12 title in 2015 and been named Six Nations player of the tournament twice in succession.

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Hogg seals Premiership move