Stuart Hogg among nine Scotland changes for Fiji clash

Stuart Hogg has completed a remarkable recovery from ankle surgery to be named in the Scotland starting line-up to face Fiji on Saturday.

Thursday, 8th November 2018, 1:19 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th November 2018, 1:38 pm

The Glasgow back has not played since damaging ligaments in the Warriors’ clash with Munster in September.

It was feared he would sit out the entire autumn series after he was initially ruled out for 10 to 12 weeks, but the British and Irish Lions full-back has recovered quickly.

Head coach Gregor Townsend has decided to throw him straight back into action after naming a much-changed side to take on the Pacific Islanders at Murrayfield following last weekend’s defeat to Wales.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Townsend said: “It’s a more experienced side this week in terms of time together at this level, while we’ve rewarded some of those who performed well off the bench with the chance to start.

“We’ve had a good week in training with a slightly different focus for the challenges we expect Fiji to present this Saturday.

“In particular, they pose huge threats off turnover ball, utilising some of the best individual players, one-on-one, in the world.”

He added: “Fiji score more tries than any team in the world off turnover ball, about 66 per cent, whereas most teams are under about 10 or 15 per cent, so if you repeatedly give them turnover ball it’ll be a tough afternoon.

Scotland's Stuart Hogg returns to the fold after injury. Picture: SNS

“That presents us with an opportunity to consider different approaches tactically and use different strategies to apply pressure in front of our home support.

“Our pack will have to work exceptionally hard against a very physical Fijian side and our backs will have to be alert to opportunities as a consequence of that work.

“We have to be physical and accurate, play to our strengths and put them under pressure in areas they don’t want to go into, to make sure the game is open for us but not for them.”