Exeter Chiefs full-back Stuart Hogg has vowed to “finish the season strongly” with the Gallagher Premiership club as they approach a home Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 tie against Montpellier Hérault Rugby on Sunday in his final full campaign before retiring from the sport.
The 30-year-old Scottish international, who is quitting after this year’s World Cup, lifted EPCR’s elite trophy with Exeter in 2020 and has made a total of 58 appearances in the competition for them and Glasgow Warriors, scoring nine tries.
The British and Irish Lion said: “As a young kid growing up in the Borders, all I wanted to do was play rugby for Scotland. I feel privileged to have represented my country on 100 occasions, play on three British and Irish Lions tours, and represent some amazing clubs. I couldn’t have asked for any more.
“Rugby has allowed me to meet some incredible characters, make lifelong friends, travel the world and be part of some unbelievable experiences that I will cherish forever.
“Knowing what lies ahead, I have a real hunger to play the best, most enjoyable rugby of my career, finishing the season strongly with Exeter Chiefs before attacking the opportunity we, as a nation, have in France.
“I don’t feel my body can achieve the standards that I set myself for much longer and I’ve always wanted to finish at the top end of the game. After the tournament, a new career beckons and I will attack it in the same manner as I play the game. I hope I have done you proud. 100 not out (just yet).”
🥊 TIME FOR THE KNOCKOUTS 🥊
Which team has the best run to the #HeinekenChampionsCup Final? pic.twitter.com/HWLOKcaRa8
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) March 27, 2023
Meanwhile, Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter has warned that he is set to make changes for the Montpellier clash after the Chiefs’ shock 36-19 Gallagher Premiership loss at bottom club Bath Rugby last weekend.
“We have to have a good look at each other because we are killing each other,” he said. “I am at that stage when I am almost thinking we have got to change the personnel.
“We have got guys now who are champing at the bit and expecting to be there or thereabouts as players move on next season, and I just said to the lads ‘the power you have got as a player is your performance’.
“They perform and it shows how much they want things and how good they want to be. The power I have got is selection.”