AFTER nine years at Glasgow Warriors, there is not much about the inner workings of the club that Stuart Hogg has not been part of.

Now that he has moved to Exeter Chiefs, who his old club play at the weekend, it is going to force a few changes.

“At the end of the day, it is a job for Stuart. Now he is in a different role where his responsibility is to help Exeter and win with Exeter. That’s just the way it goes,” reflected Kenny Murray, the Glasgow assistant coach.

“He’ll know how we attack, how we defend and have ideas himself where there might be opportunities against us.


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“Whether we continue doing some of the stuff he might anticipate is a different matter.

“We might also look at a few different options in our attack to pick him off.”

It will mean a crash course this week in changing any codes Hogg will remember, designing a few moves he won’t have seen before and maybe switching around

a few things in defence to make it harder for him to predict where the holes might be.

It is all part of the modern game, though Murray and the rest of the coaches also fully understand the danger of concentrating too much on their former star full-back and not paying enough attention to the rest of the threats.

“There has obviously been a lot of chat about Hoggy this week. We all know that he is a guy who can have a massive impact,” Murray accepted.

“If you allow him time or space he can rip you apart.

“From our point of view, we know what his strength are in attack, but we also know that his defence maybe isn’t quite as strong, so we’ll be looking to exploit and expose that as best we can.

“They are not a one-man team, by any means. Look at that game at the weekend against La Rochelle. In the middle of the park [Henry] Slade pulls a lot of strings for them, Nic White at nine is a good player, [Sam] Simmonds at No.8 is as good a ball-carrier as you are going to get in the Premiership. Hoggy just is one cog in that wheel.

“It is about trying to exploit the opportunities we see against them and, as much as Stuart is a good attacking player, and we need to deal that, there are maybe things we can do in attack to expose him.”


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This will be the third time Glasgow have faced Exeter at Sandy Park, winning in January 2014 but losing there two years ago in a game where they were dealing with the English side’s running threat but could not handle the physicality of the forwards.

In that respect, Murray is taking a few positives from the home match against Sale last weekend, when the Glasgow pack matched their bigger opponents for most of the match and the defence held firm when they did surrender the initiative.

“It just reinforces that we have to be relentless,” he added. “We got on top of them for the first half but then they changed a few of the players and we just didn’t impose ourselves physically.

“Over the whole 80 minutes, it was probably one of our better defensive efforts in recent times – we were pretty physical, we forced some really good turnovers at breakdown.

“So we’ve just got to be more consistent across the 80 minutes.

“The big thing with Exeter is a lot of their game is based on territory and physicality, so they’ll want to get into your 22 and then turn the screw, which is what they have been very good at when we have played them before.

“We try to play a high-tempo game and they are possibly not used to English Premiership teams playing like that against them, so that will be part of our focus.

“The key thing is stopping them getting into the areas of the park they want to play from.”