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'Daring, gallus and honest, Stuart Hogg has defined a Scottish era'

Stuart Hogg retires young, but retires a giant of Scottish sport.

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'I think it is probably the biggest game I'll have played for Scotland'

(Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Matt Fagerson is revelling in the wave of “excitement” Scotland are currently riding as he gears up for his biggest game yet for the national team at home to Ireland on Sunday.


The 24-year-old has been gripped by the high-stakes nature of each of his team’s matches in this year’s Six Nations as they bid to win the championship for the first time since their 1999 Five Nations success.

After wins over England and Wales, prior to a spirited defeat away to France, a victory over Grand Slam-chasing Ireland at BT Murrayfield this weekend would take the Scots into their final match at home to Italy with a genuine chance of claiming the title.

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With a World Cup in France to come later this year, Fagerson feels like the Scots are in the midst of an exhilarating period under Gregor Townsend.

“Gregor spoke at the beginning of the season when we were coming into the autumn that we had such a big campaign over the next 18 months,” explained the Glasgow number eight.

“This group has been together for quite a while. We’ve had people coming in and out, but the core has stayed.



“When you build these connections you feel so in tune with each other. Everyone’s getting on so well and we have a great environment and that’s down to the coaching group and staff and what the boys bring to the table as well. It is a hugely exciting period for us.”

Fagerson has won 31 caps since his debut in 2018 but he feels Sunday’s game could be the biggest of the lot if the Scots can pull off a victory.

“I think it is probably the biggest game I’ll have played for Scotland,” he said. “But we aren’t looking too far ahead, you can’t be thinking about Championships or what the permutations are.

“We’ve got the world number one team coming to Murrayfield and that’s all our focus is on. It’s managing what they have to bring and what we bring as well.


“It is a huge challenge for us and one that this squad is really excited to go up against.”

As has become the norm under Townsend recently, both Matt and his older brother Zander are expected to start on Sunday. The younger sibling is humbled by the fact they are able to share such pride-inducing moments together.

Zander Fagerson
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – OCTOBER 30: Matt Fagerson and Zander Fagerson in action for Scotland during an Autumn Nations Series match between Scotland and Tonga at BT Murrayfield, on October 30, 2021, in Edinburgh, Scotland. The quality drop below Zander Fagerson and WP Nel is a concern for Gregor Townsend (Photo by Ross MacDonald/Getty Images)

“It is always an honour to go out and play for Scotland and when you get to do it with your brother and your best mate it is a pretty incredible feeling,” said Matt.

“It probably dawned on me more at the England game when he wasn’t standing there (due to injury).

“It was a pretty emotional time and I never take it for granted any time I get to sing the anthem side-by-side with him.”

Fagerson also says the Scotland players are incredibly proud of full-back Stuart Hogg, who is in line to win his 100th cap this weekend.

“He is fantastic,” he said. “Throughout his career he has pulled these spectacular moments out of the bag when we needed them.

“In the last two or three years he has added so much to his game and he provides so much to the team on and off the pitch. He is a big voice here, very knowledgeable and he speaks well in meetings and on the pitch.

“Watching the France game back, his defence was phenomenal. He put his body on the line quite a bit as well. He is a huge part of the team and we are incredibly proud of him to be getting the 100th cap.”


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