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The moments that made Stuart Hogg



Scotland’s record try-scorer Stuart Hogg, Lion #783, has announced his retirement from rugby with immediate effect.

Hogg, a three-time British & Irish Lions tourist, had initially planned to hang up his boots after this autumn’s Rugby World Cup but said in a statement that “my body has not been able to do the things I wanted and needed it to do”.

An electric full-back, Hogg made history during the 2023 Six Nations by winning his 100th cap for Scotland, a feat only achieved by three others.

It has been some journey, with Hogg making his professional debut for Glasgow Warriors at 18, before going on to represent Scotland and The British & Irish Lions, becoming one of his nation’s greatest ever players.

The full-back turned fly-half on Lions Tour duty has been a regular fixture for Scotland and the Lions over the past decade, but it has not all been plain sailing.

So, after joining Sean Lamont, Chris Paterson and Lion #772 Ross Ford in Scotland’s exclusive 100 club and as he prepares for the final months of his rugby career, we look at six moments that made Stuart Hogg.

1.       Scotland debut 

After thriving for Glasgow and Scotland U20, Hogg earned his first senior Scotland call-up for the 2012 Six Nations, aged just 19.

He missed out on the Calcutta Cup at BT Murrayfield, but found himself on the bench in Round 2 for the trip to Cardiff, poised to make his mark on the international stage as a fresh-faced teenager.

The opportunity came earlier than expected, with Hogg coming on for the injured Max Evans on the left wing after only 16 minutes.

That day did not go Scotland’s way, as Wales won 27-13 on the way to the Grand Slam, but it was a landmark day for Hogg, who had some impressive touches and found himself in the starting line-up at BT Murrayfield when France came to town a fortnight later.

It was on his first Scotland start that he scored his first Scotland try in a 23-17 defeat, and he would go on to start the remaining matches against Ireland and Italy.

2.       Lion #783 

After an excellent maiden Six Nations, 2013 proved to be a year of even more progress for club and country.

Named in the Pro 12 Dream Team after a stellar season for Glasgow, Hogg started in all five Six Nations matches, scoring against both England and Italy.

Those performances saw the full-back selected for The British & Irish Lions Tour to Australia, where, as the youngest player, he would be responsible for the safety of the Lions mascot, BIL.

He went on to make his Lions debut in the Tour opener against the Barbarians in Hong Kong, as Warren Gatland’s men raced away to a 59-8 win.

In the match against Combined New South Wales-Queensland Country, Hogg played the full 80 minutes at fly-half, scoring a try and four conversions in a 64-0 win.

He featured in five of the ten Tour matches, and although he did not make the Test team for this tour, he had made his mark on Tour as the Lions claimed a first Test series win since 1997.

3.       2017 Tour: what could have been 

By 2017, Hogg was an established international and won his 50th cap during the Six Nations that year, while he had also won the Pro 12 with Glasgow in the 2014-15 season.

Thus, it was no surprise to see him called up to his second Lions Tour to world champions New Zealand.

Welsh stars Liam Williams and Leigh Halfpenny were both on Tour, while the likes of Elliot Daly and Anthony Watson could also play full-back, but Hogg was a strong candidate to start in the Tests and make his Lions Test debut.

He started in the opener against New Zealand Provincial Barbarians, which the Lions won 13-7, but disaster struck the next time Hogg took to the field.

After just 19 minutes in the match against the Crusaders, he chased after his own kick, running into teammate Conor Murray’s elbow, which resulted in a fractured cheekbone and saw him ruled out before the Test matches began.

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4.       Scotland captaincy 

Not one to let heartbreak get him down, Hogg went on to become an even more prominent figure in the Scotland national team and in 2020, was named captain.

In his first Guinness Six Nations as captain, he led Scotland to three wins, defeating Italy, France and Wales – with the victory in Llanelli being Scotland’s first Championship win in Wales since 2002.

A year later, he led the side to even more success, as Scotland defeated England at Twickenham for the first time since 1983 and France at the Stade de France for the first time since 1999.

5.       Third time lucky in South Africa 

That form in the 2021 Guinness Six Nations, saw Hogg selected for his third Lions Tour, and this time there was pressure for Hogg to finally earn his Lions Test debut.

After initially missing out on the first three Tour matches due to Covid-19 enforced isolation, He captained the side in the wins over both the Emirates Lions and the DHL Stormers, before finally being named among the starters for the first Test against the Springboks.

He played the full 80 minutes as the Lions took a 1-0 lead in the series with a 22-17 win, before being named at full-back again for the second Test, which the Lions lost 27-9.

It was a long time coming, but finally Hogg was a Test Lion.

Stuart Hogg main

6.       The record breaker 

Hogg remained Scotland captain for the 2021 Autumn Nations Series as Scotland defeated Australia 15-13 to win three consecutive matches against the Wallabies for the first time since 1982.

The week after that, Hogg levelled Scotland and Lions legends Tony Stanger and Ian Smith, scoring a brace of tries in a 30-15 defeat to South Africa at BT Murrayfield to reach 24 international tries.

A week later and Hogg scored again in the 29-20 win over Japan, making him Scotland’s outright all-time top try scorer.

This announcement means he will not add to those history-making exploits but the Hawick flyer will forever be remembered as one of his country’s finest players.

Source – British & Irish Lions

British & Irish Lions

British &Irish Lions Trust Announce Charity Partnerships



The British & Irish Lions Trust has today announced its five charity partnerships all of which have rugby at the heart of what they do and make a real impact on communities.

Dallaglio RugbyWorks
Matt Hampson Foundation
My Name’5 Doddie Foundation
Wooden Spoon

The two-year partnerships will allow the charities to use The British & Irish Lions digital platforms and the Lions Charitable Trust branding for promotion.

The Lions will also collaborate with the charities on fundraising and awareness events. In addition, merchandise from the Lions Tour to Australia, signed by the 2025 squad, will be provided to each charity for auction.

“One of the key objectives of The British & Irish Lions is to have an impact off the pitch as well as on the pitch, and we are proud to be partnering with five incredible charities who all have a connection with rugby at their core.” said Ben Calveley, British & Irish Lions CEO.

“We look forward to supporting these charities and highlighting the important work they do.”

Gavin Hastings, British & Irish Lions Trust Chairperson, added: “The Lions charity programme was first established in 2021 and has been a great success. It is a privilege to announce the five charity partnerships today and we are looking forward to working closely with each of these outstanding charities to support them raise much-needed funds for their charitable causes.”

Dallaglio RugbyWorks

Dallaglio RugbyWorks was founded by former England international and three-times Lions tourist Lawrence Dallaglio. The charity grew out of Lawrence’s vision to offer a long-term skills-development programme for young people, based on the values of rugby. Each year, it helps hundreds of teenagers outside of mainstream education to develop the skills they need to get into sustained employment and training.

Zenna Hopson, CEO, Dallaglio RugbyWorks said: “We are thrilled to embark on this incredible journey as a new partner of The British & Irish Lions Trust. Together, we are aligned in our values, our mission, and also the power of rugby to make a lasting impact for young people, fostering resilience, and positive change. This partnership symbolises our shared commitment to harnessing the transformative spirit of the sport, creating a legacy that extends far beyond the field, to ensure that despite our young people being excluded from school, they will not be excluded from society.”


LooseHeadz is rugby’s mental health charity on a mission to place a mental health lead in every rugby club around the world, using rugby as a vehicle to tackle the stigma and help the rugby community talk openly about what can be a challenging subject.

The charity provides each partner rugby club with a toolkit of free resources to support the mental fitness of players, coaches and supporters. LooseHeadz currently works with around 1,000 rugby clubs in 20 different countries to help get people talking and #TackleTheStigma.

Rob Shotton, Co-Founder, LooseHeadz said: “LooseHeadz started as a conversation at the end of our local rugby club bar whilst watching the Lions Tour of New Zealand back in 2017. Just 6 and a half years later, to partner with the Lions is a monumental milestone in our journey. When we first penned our ambitious 10-year business plan, the vision of joining forces with the Lions for this Tour was a cherished dream. And now, as this dream becomes a reality, it stands as our crowning achievement. This partnership, deeply rooted in the very essence of rugby, ignites our fervent belief that alongside an organisation as iconic as the Lions, we can take LooseHeadz to the next level. We’re excited to join the pride and tackle the stigma together.”

Matt Hampson Foundation

The Matt Hampson Foundation inspires and supports young people seriously injured through sport. Through expert physiotherapy, specialist personal training, wellbeing support, mentoring and advice, the Foundation helps people with life-changing injuries to get busy living again.

The Foundation was established in 2011 by ex-England and Leicester Tigers rugby player Matt Hampson OBE, who himself experienced a life-changing injury in 2005 leaving him paralysed from the neck down, aged just 20.

Matt Hampson OBE, Creator of Matt Hampson Foundation said: “We are incredibly grateful and excited to be named as an official charity of the Lions Trust. As rugby fans, it means such a lot for us at the Foundation to be involved with a name known throughout the world and we look forward to working closely with the team to increase awareness of both our Foundation and the Trust as well as, of course, supporting the squad on their 2025 Tour. The British & Irish Lions stands for so much that is good about the game of rugby and their values of respect, unity, integrity and friendship reflect how our Foundation works to bring people together in a special and supportive community.”

My Name’5 Doddie Foundation

The My Name’5 Doddie Foundation was founded in November 2017, following former Scotland international Doddie Weir’s diagnosis with motor neuron disease (MND). Doddie Weir earned 61 caps for Scotland, along with representing The British & Irish Lions on their 1997 Tour of South Africa. The Foundation aims to raise funds to aid research into the causes of MND and investigate potential cures, and to make grants to individuals suffering from MND, to enable them to live as fulfilled a life as possible. To date, My Name’5 Doddie Foundation has committed over £11 million to MND research, as well as providing grants to support people living with the disease.

Jill Douglas, CEO, My Name’5 Doddie Foundation said: “Partnering with The British & Irish Lions Trust in 2021 was an incredibly significant moment for My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, and one that meant a great deal to Doddie too. To be asked to be a charity partner again for the 2025 Tour to Australia is an honour and one that will make a real difference as we seek effective treatments to MND. We’d like to thank The British & Irish Lions Trust for their ongoing support and look forward to creating an exciting calendar of activations with them.”

Wooden Spoon

Wooden Spoon, the children’s charity of rugby, aims to positively transform the lives of vulnerable children and young people through the power of the rugby community. Projects include specialist playgrounds, sensory rooms for children with autism, out of school educational programmes and specialist adapted sports equipment.

Sarah Webb, CEO, Wooden Spoon said: “The British & Irish Lions gravitas in the rugby community is legendary and this partnership’s endorsement of Wooden Spoon’s grant making activities, really bolsters the ambitions of our volunteers and supporters. The Lions embodiment of coming together to support each other to succeed, resonates deeply with Wooden Spoon’s own community who tirelessly raise awareness and funds to positively transform the lives of children and young people facing disadvantage, through the power of the rugby.”

Source – British & Irish Lions

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British & Irish Lions

Barry John: Rugby world and beyond pay tribute to ‘The King’



Figures from the rugby world and beyond have come together to pay tribute to Barry John following the British & Irish Lions star’s death aged 79.

John, nicknamed “The King” due to his brilliance from fly-half during the 1971 Tour of New Zealand, was considered one of the game’s greatest-ever players.

He was influential when the Lions beat the All Blacks 2-1 in a historic Tour and formed a legendary half-back partnership with fellow Welshman Sir Gareth Edwards.

Obituary: Barry John

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales Breakfast, Edwards said: “He was a one-off, no doubt about that.

“He was carefree but had such vision when it came to playing the game. Even under the most immense pressure he would just stand there, look up and do something unbelievable.

“He was friendly and always wanted to chat, but he was also lethal on the rugby field when he decided to do something.”

Along with his five appearances for The Lions across the 1968 and 1971 Tours, he earned 25 caps for Wales in a hugely successful period for the national side, winning three Five Nations, a Grand Slam and two Triple Crowns.

He called time on his career aged just 27 but provided inspiration for many who have gone on to wear the famous Wales or Lions shirts.

Former Wales and Lions captain Sam Warburton said: “What he contributed to the game, even now, 50 years later, still transcends rugby across the world and he hasn’t picked up a ball for 50 years.

“They are heroes for so many people.  The legacy that they’ve left Welsh rugby means when you pick up that shirt that you’re following in their footsteps.”

His outlandish talent brought many new eyes to the sport, and a year before he retired, he finished third in the 1971 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award, pipped only by Princess Anne and George Best.

Much like Best, he was not just adored on the field but loved off it with many stating he was rugby’s first star.

Along with his established international career, he brought joy to Cefneithin, Llanelli, Cardiff and Barbarians fans across the country.

Former players and journalists from across rugby also shared their memories of one of Wales’s greatest athletes.

ITV’s Chris Skudder said: “He was so gifted as a fly-half, it was said he could side-step a player in a telephone box.

“There was only one Barry John.”

Welsh Rugby Union’s president Terry Cobner added to the tributes, he said: “To be crowned ‘The King’ in New Zealand when every back row forward in both the North and South Islands is trying to take your head off is quite some accolade.”.
“For me, he has got to be right up there among the greatest outside halves who have ever played the game – probably the greatest.

“He was a glider, rather than a sidestepper, who had a subtle change of pace and direction. Coming on top of the recent deaths of Brian Price and JPR Williams, this is another huge blow for Welsh rugby.

“After what he did for Wales and the Lions in 1971, those of us who followed him into both teams always felt we had huge shoes to fill. He was and will remain a legend of our game.”

Source – British & Irish Lions

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British & Irish Lions

CEO Ben Calveley: British and Irish Lions Women’s Series announcement a “historic milestone”



British & Irish Lions CEO Ben Calveley hailed confirmation of the first-ever Lions Women’s Tour in September 2027 as a significant milestone in the touring team’s 136-year history.

The inaugural Howden British & Irish Lions Women’s Series will take place in New Zealand, the home of the current world champions, following a feasibility study commissioned by Founding Partner Royal London.

After a three-part process, the Tour is projected to be commercially sustainable for all stakeholders and Calveley believes this is only the start of what is set to be a monumental journey.

“We do believe this is a historic milestone in our 136-year history and we’re really pleased to be announcing the 2027 tour,” he said.

“It brings with it sell-out crowds, we’ll have passionate fans in full stadiums.

“There will be a high media footprint, we’re seeing high levels of interest and importantly it is commercially sustainable, not just for the Lions but for the hosts in New Zealand rugby as well.

“We want the bulk of the matches to take place in another location, a country that we can travel round and have lots of community impact.

“We wanted to make sure we were taking decisions that were in the best interest of the Lions and the best interest of the women’s game. This is day one for us and we’ve got lots of decisions to make.”

The Howden British and Irish Lions Women’s Series will retain the idea that a Test series will take place at the end of a Tour and its squad foundations will be based upon merit-based selection.

Founding Partner Royal London will also oversee player development through an elite players’ Pathways Funding grant which will support the elite women’s player pathways in Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England.

The moment of parity was particularly poignant for Chair of The British & Irish Lions and the Lions Women’s feasibility study steering group, Ieuan Evans, who featured in three Tours with the Lions between 1989 and 1997.

“I’m fortunate to have gone on a number of Lions Tours which, in many ways, shaped me and to a large extent defined me as a person,” Evans said.

“It is an opportunity for women now to sample that exciting experience of being on a Lions Tour.

“Going out there to take on the world champions, the Black Ferns in New Zealand in three and a half years is going to be special.

“It is an incredibly humbling moment for me to deliver something genuine, authentic and real which will enhance the women’s game and the Lions as an entity as well.

“It is heaped in tradition but the Lions Women will be ploughing their own furrow – it’s something really palpable, even this far ahead of the tour.

“This is for all those people who are training now and for young girls to watch this in a few years and be inspired, just like I was growing up.”

Source – British & Irish Lions

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