Stuart Hogg’s Lions tour is over, it has been announced this morning.
He sustained a facial injury on Saturday midway through the first half of the British and Irish Lions victory over the Crusaders in Christchurch. It occurred chasing a high ball and running into Lions scrum-half Conor Murray’s elbow. Murray was raising his arms in an attempt to signal he was not interfering in play, and the clash was a freak accident.
Hogg’s speed perhaps did for him, a slower man would have sustained less of an impact!
The injury was checked by a specialist in New Zealand before the decision was made, and it deprives the Lions of one of their key attacking threats on a tour which has so far seen a dearth of inspirational back play.
Hogg will now return to Glasgow and watch the remainder of the tour from home. I am sure he is gutted, as are Scotland fans who saw him as the best chance of a Lions Test starter since Tom Smith all the way back in 2001. Tommy Seymour and Greig Laidlaw remain to fly the flag for Scotland and are both involved in the match against the Highlanders as we speak (10-10 at half time).