Hogg reveals bid to improve mental and physical health
Last Updated: 26/10/21 3:17pm Scotland captain Stuart Hogg has lost 5kg in a bid to improve his physical and mental wellbeing after feeling "drained" at the end of the British & Irish Lions series def
Stuart Hogg lost his place for Exeter Chiefs at the end of last season and then was omitted from the final Lions Test against Springboks; 29-year-old has reduced alcohol intake as he looks ahead to autumn internationals with Scotland
Last Updated: 26/10/21 3:17pm
Scotland captain Stuart Hogg has lost 5kg in a bid to improve his physical and mental wellbeing after feeling "drained" at the end of the British & Irish Lions series defeat in South Africa.
Hogg impressed at the Six Nations before a drop in form saw him lose his place for the Gallagher Premiership semi-final and final with Exeter Chiefs along with the Lions' series-deciding Test against South Africa in the summer.
The full-back will miss Saturday's international against Tonga as it falls outside of the Test-recognised window, but is expected to be integral for Gregor Townsend's side in the matches against Australia, South Africa and Japan that follow.
"I was physically and mentally drained after a season-and-a-half of rugby was played in one year. After the Lions I felt I needed an extended break," Hogg said at the launch of the Autumn Nations Series on Tuesday.
"I lost five kilograms and looked after my body a lot better over the last few months. I'm trying to get myself in the best place physically and mentally to go out there and perform.
"I've given up a lot of alcohol. Over the summer it's nice to unwind, but it affects how I feel as a sportsman and a person."
Hogg says his new focus on the mental side of the game with the support of Scotland wellness coach Ben Scott has made a big difference already.
"We've seen some examples in the Olympics, where people have not been able to be themselves in these huge occasions because their mental side is not where it needs to be," the 29-year-old said.
"More and more of the boys are tapping into this. For me this has been a massive difference since the Lions tour, to get to where I am now."
Scotland named 12 uncapped players in their squad for the autumn fixtures as they continue their preparations for the 2023 World Cup in France, with Hogg aware of the development the side still have to make.
"The long-term goal is to be in the best place possible for the World Cup," he added.
"The reality is we have to take game by game, and over the next four weeks, we have four very different challenges.
"We are here to win, let's not beat around the bush. But whether we win or lose, we will learn and grow."