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03rd Sep 2022

Stuart Hogg on summer training and diet routine that has him trimmer than ever

Patrick McCarry

Stuart Hogg

“I’ve thrown myself under the bus, here!”

It was Gallagher Premiership launch day, down at Twickenham Stadium, on Thursday morning and Stuart Hogg was in flying form, even if Henry Slade had given us a few pre-loaded questions.

The Scotland and Lions fullback underwent some knee surgery, earlier this summer, and has trimmed down from where he finished up, last season. “The boys have been knocking lumps out of each other,” he says, “while I’ve just been lifting some dumb-bells, so I’ve had it relatively easy.”

Asked about his new, trimmer physique, the Chiefs star jokes that, “It’s the small jersey that’s sucking me right in!

“No, to be fair, I’ve kept a close eye on what I’ve been eating and drinking, over the summer. I felt that, towards the back end of last season, I was probably a little bit too heavy and was losing that yard or two of pace. But I’m not sure if that is down to being overweight or old now. One of the two!

‘But I’ve trimmed down a little bit and I’ve tried to work hard on that. Hopefully it gives me that extra edge, this season. I’m still coming back from rehab. but give me a couple of weeks and I’ll be ready to rock and roll.”

Stuart Hogg on Exeter’s best ‘gym monkey’

After a decade with Glasgow Warriors, and a 2015 league [PRO12] title, Stuart Hogg left the Scottish club to join Exeter Chiefs ahead of the 2019/20 season.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to a severely disrupted season but, when regular fixtures resumed, that Exeter move was justified when the Chiefs finished with a double success – Premiership and Champions Cup victories.

Exeter have lost the experienced likes of Tom O’Flaherty, Sam Skinner and Jonny Hill, over the summer, but have brought in Scott Sio from Australia and the Leinster pair, Rory O’Loughlin and Jack Dunne.

Interestingly, when our reporter, Stella Mills, asked Hogg about what teammate was the strongest in the gym, a former Ulster and Ireland star got the shout. The 30-year-old commented:

“I can’t really comment on the [Exeter] forwards, as we’re never in with them, but their gym sessions are a massive pissing contest. They love to try and out-muscle each other.

“With the backs, Ian Whitten, for 45 years old, is incredibly strong, and seems to be getting better and better each year. For consistency, I’d go Ian. Jack Nowell is pretty strong, as well, but he’s a real gym monkey and he’ll want me to say him! He loves it. But I’ll go Ian Whitten.”

In defence of Ian Whitten, the two-times capped Ireland international is only 35. He has been with Chiefs since 2012 and has made well over 200 appearances for the club.

Rick Pellow, Skills Coach of Exeter Chiefs talks to Ian Whitten of Exeter Chiefs on during a training session at Sandy Park. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Henry Slade doesn’t escape the slagging

Across the morning, at Twickenham, Stuart Hogg has been joking and slagging with the 20+ other Aviva Premiership stars, and interviews are divided into serious pre-season features and ‘bit of craic’.

Hogg flits in between both, but loves sitting back and slinging fire, when the questions allow. He is self-deprecating enough, too, and knows he has provided plenty of ammunition to sheer his sails, over the years.

Asked what Exeter Chiefs teammate ‘loves himself the most’, the fullback jokes, “Everyone will say me, because there’s nothing on my face that is natural.

“But Henry Slade, without a shadow of a doubt and so much so that we started to make up some rumours that have actually started to come true, about his smelly breath.

“He’s got lovely facial features, tall, handsome, minted. Seems to have everything… so we made up that rumour but it’s coming true. Doesn’t clean his teeth. Only wipes his arse once!”

Hair flowing, burns coming thick and fast, and looking as trim as he planned, Stuart Hogg is more than ready to rip into the new Gallagher Premiership season.

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