Warren Gatland reveals thinking about Stuart Hogg replacement 1 year ago

Warren Gatland reveals thinking about Stuart Hogg replacement

Lions coach Warren Gatland revealed that one specialist expressed concerns about Stuart Hogg's sight after his accidental collision with teammate Conor Murray.

The Lions are next up against Highlanders but, with six tour games to go in New Zealand, have lost one of their best players.

Hogg is the first Lions player to arrive in New Zealand and then have his tour ended by injury - they previously lost Ben Youngs [personal] and Billy Vunipola [injured shoulder] before travelling south.

Gatland spoke with Sky Sports before kick-off in Dunedin and offered an update on Hogg's state of mind.

The Scot, he said, had seen four different specialists about his damaged cheekbone and black eye. One had given a return time-frame of 'seven to 10 days' while, at the other end, another expressed concerns that Hogg's vision could have been affected in the collision. Gatland added:

"He's pretty disappointed and pretty upset... [It was] a freak accident, running into Conor Murray's elbow. Stuart is gutted."

The likes of Simon Zebo and Mike Brown are two players that would surely be in the mix to replace Hogg but, for now, Gatland is not picking up the phone.

"If we get through tonight after picking up any injuries," Gatland said. "We think we have enough cover at fullback at the moment."

"We'll see how we are fixed after tonight," he added.

Gatland and his coaching staff will have an idea of their squads for Saturday's Maori All Blacks and Test Series fixtures so any call-up would probably only be in the mix for midweek fixtures.