British and Irish Lions 2013: Stuart Hogg determined to challenge Leigh Halfpenny for full-back position

The Scot hopes to mount challenge this weekend

Leigh Halfpenny might be a firm favourite for the British and Irish Lions' Test full-back position - but Scotland star Stuart Hogg is determined to mount an early challenge at Hong Kong Stadium tomorrow.

Halfpenny deservedly took this season's RBS 6 Nations player of the tournament accolade after playing a pivotal role in Wales' successful title defence.

With Ireland full-back Rob Kearney also in Lions head coach Warren Gatland's Test match mix ahead of the opening series clash against Australia on June 22, it could be argued that Hogg has his work cut out.

But the 20-year-old knows an extension of his recently impressive Six Nations form could give Gatland a selection headache.

And that process starts tomorrow when the Lions take on the Barbarians in a prelude to their major business of nine games Down Under.

"I've got nothing to lose to be honest," Hogg said.

"Everybody is expecting Leigh to be the starting (Test team) number 15, and I will push him all the way to get that starting spot.

"But at the end of the day it's good for me to have guys like that you can learn off. Rob Kearney as well, learning how they play 15, adapting to how they play and hopefully learning a lot from them."

Despite being just 15 caps into his Scotland career, Hogg is rated among the most exciting young players in European rugby, and he is determined to savour every minute of the Lions experience.

"It is quite surreal when you are putting on Lions T-shirts, looking at the badge and you are thinking 'I'm not here as a supporter, I'm here as a player'," he added.

"I find myself very fortunate to be here as a player. I am enjoying it, and I am looking forward to learning a lot on the tour.

"It's pretty surreal being here, but I've got myself here on good performances, and I am hoping to continue that form. It's an exciting couple of months ahead."

And if Hogg requires any inspiration, then his superstar relative George Best might just provide it, having discovered last season that Manchester United and Northern Ireland football legend Best, who died in 2005, is related to him.

"It was after I was capped in Wales," Hogg added.

"When I got capped, the Irish relatives got in touch with my dad, and he was in tears on the phone. To meet all the Irish relatives was pretty amazing, and it is amazing that has come about due to rugby.

"My dad (former Hawick full-back John Hogg) is Scottish, but my granny was Irish and off the Best side. It is a pretty amazing feeling to find out you are related in some way, maybe distant, to him. It's pretty cool.

"I've been on YouTube a few times and watched some clips of him. He was some character, by the sound of things."

PA

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935