Ally Hogg has told how he struggled not to take personally a selection snub from former Scotland coach Andy Robinson.
The former Edinburgh back row, who is now with Newcastle Falcons, hasn’t played for Scotland since 2009 but gets a chance to revive his representative career for the A team against England Saxons in Glasgow tomorrow.
When Robinson succeeded Frank Hadden, it seemed a given he would keep turning to Hogg, having picked him consistently during his time in charge of Edinburgh.
But no call ever came and feedback was non-existent.
“I tried to speak to Andy Robinson a few times, but he never got back to me,” said Hogg, who moved to Newcastle in 2010.
“That’s the way it is sometimes in professional sport. It happens to a lot of players and it will happen again. It’s something I take on the chin. Initially you maybe take it a little bit personally and then you get used to it.
“I had a little girl at home and not going away as much meant spending more time with my family.”
Always, though, Hogg, the only forward to have scored a hat-trick of tries for Scotland, having crossed the whitewash three times against Romania at Murrayfield in the 2007 World Cup, dreamt of adding to his 48 caps.
“Johnno (Scotland coach Scott Johnson) came down and asked if I wanted to be involved and I said ‘definitely’,” he explained.
“I’d like to use this as a stepping stone.
“Sometimes the coach doesn’t like you and it’s one of those things. There’s not much you can do about it. A new regime have come in and had a look at me. I’ve been playing quite well and it’s nice they recognise that.
“All I can do is take my opportunity and play well tomorrow.
“When Newcastle coach Dean Richards asked me if I still wanted to play for Scotland I said I had 48 caps, wanted 50, and then some more,” said Hogg, who showed his commitment to the Falcons by signing a new contract prior to their bouncing back to the English Premiership this season.