Stuart Hogg has admitted he could have sabotaged his international career with Scotland with his 2014 falling out with Glasgow boss Gregor Townsend, who went on to succeed Vern Cotter at international level.
The Scottish full-back fell foul of his Warriors coach after he was caught out trying to engineer a move to Ulster.
His desired switch to Belfast never took place and while he apologised and was welcomed back into the Glasgow fold after initially being dropped, it wasn’t until he sat down on international duty on Scotland’s 2018 summer tour that he fully realised the depths of the trouble he caused for himself as a 21-year-old.
“It wasn’t until last summer when Gregor made me Scotland captain (for the Test against United States in Houston) that we sat down and chatted and I heard his side of the story for the first time,” said Hogg in an interview with The Scotsman.
“He said he didn’t think we were going to be able to have any kind of relationship. That was scary to hear because, Gregor being such a good coach coming through, the Scotland job was always going to be inevitable at some point. I’m glad I didn’t burn my bridges. If I had, would I be playing for Scotland now? Probably not.”
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Hogg, who is now due to leave Scotstoun for Exeter this summer without any of the rancour that existed five years ago, added that his participation as part of the Scotland Sevens side at the 2014 Commonwealth Games reignited his passion for Glasgow and ended all thoughts at that time of a move away.
“That brought the love of the game and a love for Glasgow back to me and I thought ‘why the hell am I leaving?’” he said, reflecting on a two-day tournament that attracted sold-out attendances to Ibrox Stadium. “I apologised for everything and the next season went on to win the PRO12.
“There are always mistakes and challenges that come along in life, but looking back that was probably the best thing that could have happened to me because it gave me the kick up the backside that I needed, brought me back down to earth and I have played some good rugby since then.”
“There was a stage in 2014 when I thought I was better than I actually was and that came back to bite me in the bum. This club means a hell of a lot to me. I tried, stupidly, five years ago to leave and that was the making of the man.”
WATCH: Big Jim Hamilton catches up with Stuart Hogg in RugbyPass Ventures
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