FUN. It’s not exactly a buzz word in modern rugby, where systems and structures and such terms predominate. But it was certainly what Stuart Hogg experienced yesterday as his team dismantled Italy 52-10.

“We had a lot of fun,” the Scotland captain said after his team ran up their biggest score in the history of the Championship.

“We got ourselves into good positions. Maybe at times just lacked that clinical edge, but we had a lot of fun. We had smiles on our faces and the best feeling ever is winning in a Scotland jersey, so that’s what we’ve done today and we’re very, very pleased.

“We expressed ourselves. We just dug deep and kept going. Yeah, the scoreboard could have been a little bit more, but we scored 50-odd points in a Test match and that’s absolutely massive for us.”

As he looked ahead to Friday’s final match of this year’s Six Nations against France, Hogg neither underestimated the scale of that challenge nor underplayed the things that had gone wrong in Scotland’s two previous matches, the defeats by Wales and Ireland. But he insisted that the team are in good shape as they prepare for their third Test match in 12 days.

“We can take a huge amount of confidence on both sides of the ball from today, and get excited about another challenge against France. It will be one hell of a battle for us, but we’re more than capable of going across to France and winning.”

Despite acquitting himself well in the unfamiliar role of stand-off, Hogg insisted he would be more than happy to revert to full-back, and to hand over the 10 jersey to Finn Russell, who missed this game through injury but is expected to be back to face France.

“He’s a world-class talent. I’ve no doubt he’ll be back in the 10 jersey next week,” the captain said. “I’d like to think I’ve made a good enough job at playing full-back throughout my time. I think there’s a lot better players that can play 10 than me.”