Stuart Hogg was the youngest player on tour for the British & Irish Lions over the summer – and the full-back believes learning from the best has made him wise beyond his years.
The 21-year-old played a part in five tour matches in Australia – scoring a try against a Combined Country XV – and will have an eye on nailing down a first-team spot for the Lions’ next venture to New Zealand in 2017.
But practice makes perfect and it is no different for Hogg, who insists he is becoming bigger and better as he reflects on his Lions dream and the chance to line-up with the legendary Brian O’Driscoll.
"I used to be smashed about everywhere but now I am able to hold my own,” he said.
"Being so young, I have bags of energy and when I go out onto the training pitch I train for as long and as hard as I can.
"I think the improvements in my game have come from there. In the last two years I have put on six or seven kilograms which has made a positive impact on my game.
"To be involved in the Lions tour was an amazing experience as I was living the dream.
"Brian O'Driscoll is my hero so to play alongside him in Australia really helped my game and is something that will live long in the memory.”