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World rugby selection eases ongoing Hogg pain

Getty Images

    03 Jan 2018     Getty Images

It took a superb cover tackle by first five-eighths Beauden Barrett to deny Hogg his place in history and to force a forward pass in the tackle to end the game and keep the 22-17 scoreline intact. Hogg's try would have levelled the scores and the outcome would have come down to a conversion attempt.

Hogg related the story of how that incident continued to affect him to the BBC this week.

"The amount of different times I have looked at it and seen what I could do a little bit different is frustratingly big especially when you pick up an injury and can't play and make up for it," he said.

Hogg said revisiting the action reinforced learning from the incident so that if he was in that situation again he could have a better outcome.

He had watched the clip of the last play 'far too many times'.

"Every single time I watch it and think back to what could have been if Beauden Barrett hadn't managed to bump me into touch I could have scored in the corner. It has been a bit difficult," he said.

Hogg said a recurring thought was that perhaps he should have stepped in a little earlier and taken the tackle and set up another phase, but at the same time he thought he could make the line as he had always backed his ability to get there.

"On another day if I had got that fend a little bit better I might have scored but obviously it wasn't meant to be," he said.

There was some consolation for him in being named fullback of the year in the BBC Sport users' team of the year which attracted more than 100,000 selections. There was an England bias to the selection with five England players, four New Zealanders, three Irishmen and one each from Wales, Scotland and Australia.

The team was: Maro Vunipola (England), Jamie George (England), Tadgh Furlong (Ireland), Brodie Retallick (New Zealand), Maro Itoje (England), Sean O'Brien (Ireland), Michael Hooper (Australia), Kieran Read (New Zealand), Conor Murray (Ireland), Beauden Barrett (NZ), Rieko Ioane (NZ), Owen Farrell (England), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Elliot Daly (England), Stuart Hogg (Scotland).

By comparison, the World XV for the French newspaper L'Equipe was: (with voting percentages in brackets): Mako Vunipola (37 percent), Dane Coles (56), Owen Franks (39), Sam Whitelock (35), Brodie Retallick (33), Maro Itoje (29), Sam Cane (14), Kieran Read (70), Aaron Smith (62), Beauden Barrett (82), Rieko Ioane (35) Sonny Bill Williams (30), Jonathan Joseph (19), Waisake Naholo (35), Stuart Hogg (48).