Glasgow Warriors have secured “the best years” of their most prized asset with Scotland and Lions full-back Stuart Hogg signing a new extension to stay at Scotstoun.
The RBS Six Nations Player of the Tournament earlier this year, Hogg has renewed his current deal taking him through to May 2019, when he will still only be 27. He made his debut for Glasgow and for Scotland when still a teenager.
Already with 45 caps at the age of just 24, Hogg stands to break all records for Scotland. He has 11 tries for his country and was the youngest member of the series winning British and Irish Lions touring team to Australia in 2013.
“Glasgow Warriors is such a big part of my life and I love this club,” he said. “I’ve played for the Warriors for five years and it was an easy decision to sign on for another two seasons.
“It means a lot to me that the club and Scottish Rugby want me to stay and I’m very happy that I’m going to be continuing my career in Scotland.”
Hogg could have just about named his price for a contract with a big-spending club in the English Aviva Premiership or the French Top 14 when his current deal expired at the end of next season, but Scottish Rugby have moved early to secure the player fast becoming the public face of the national team.
However the deal also suits the player. Towards the end of the 2013-14 season Hogg was unsettled and openly courted by rival clubs when still under contract, and off-the-field issues saw him benched by Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend towards the end of that season.
But he re-applied himself the following season, signed his first extension, and admits that a settled domestic life and maturity has meant those rebellious days are passed.
“My wife enjoys living in Glasgow and with a young boy and another baby on the way there is nowhere else I’d rather be,” added Hogg.
“There is still a lot of rugby to be played this season and then next year I’m looking forward to working with new Warriors coach Dave Rennie when he takes over.”
Townsend, who has carefully nurtured his fellow Borderer’s development, said the deal was “excellent news for Glasgow and for Scotland.
“Stuart works extremely hard in training every day to improve himself and he gets real joy from playing the game,” he said.
“He is entering the best years of his career, in great physical shape as one of our most experienced players. The fact that he wants to continue to play his rugby in Scotland is a massive boost for the club and our supporters.
“I firmly believe we can compete with the best teams in Europe and having Stuart on board in the next two seasons will certainly help.”
Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson said the signing was “really important” for both the Warriors and the national team.
“It’s our intention to keep as many of our best players in Scotland as we can and despite the sharply increased costs of professional rugby we are delighted to have secured Stuart for two more years.
“The signing illustrates our commitment to the Glasgow Warriors, and demonstrates we want to repay their fantastic support.”