Scotland: Stuart Hogg insists team-mates must 'step up' in autumn Tests

By Andy BurkeBBC Sport Scotland
Stuart Hogg
Stuart Hogg revealed he was "gutted" for Greig Laidlaw and Ross Ford, who miss the Tests due to injuries

New leaders will have to emerge in the Scotland team during the autumn Tests, according to Stuart Hogg.

Captain Greig Laidlaw and hooker Ross Ford, Scotland's record caps holder, are among a host of players ruled out of the matches against Samoa, New Zealand and Australia through injury.

"In terms of other leaders, a few boys have to step up," said Hogg, 25.

"I've got a fair bit of experience and if I can help out the younger boys that's what I'm here to do."

And Hogg added: "I'm just wanting to get the best out of everybody and hopefully get good results on the board as well.

"I'm gutted for Fordy and Greig being injured. They've worked incredibly hard on their game and it's tough for them to take."

Ross Ford and Greig Laidlaw
The Scots are without Ford and Laidlaw for all three Tests

Hogg has not played for Scotland since the Six Nations victory over Italy in March. His call-up to the British and Irish Lions squad for the tour of New Zealand meant he missed Scotland's summer tour matches against Italy, Australia and Fiji.

The Glasgow Warriors full-back's Lions tour was ended by injury, and subsequent shoulder surgery meant he only returned to action in last month's Champions Cup defeat by Leinster.

He has scored in both his appearances since coming back but feels he still needs to move up another gear for the forthcoming Test matches.

"Obviously I've only played two games and I think I've still got a lot to work on and improve on," Hogg said.

"I'm excited to be back. The mentality changes at international level and everything goes up a few notches.

"The boys are flying, very much excited for the challenges that are coming our way. We had a good week in camp last week and the boys are all fit and well after the weekend."

Hamish Watson
Hamish Watson was one of the try scorers when Scotland beat Australia in June

Following his injury withdrawal from the Lions squad in the summer, Hogg flew straight to Sydney to join up with the Scotland squad and witnessed one of the great Scottish victories as Gregor Townsend's men turned over the Wallabies. Now the challenge is to maintain that standard.

"The boys were outstanding in every area of the game," Hogg added. "They really shut Australia down in defence and killed them in attack, which was great to see.

"Hopefully, that's the kind of standards now that if anything will get better.

"We've shown that we can do it and the challenge is to stay there. We know we have to be at our best to beat the best teams in the world."