Hogg wants more Scotland success in Autumn Nations Cup

London (AFP) –


Scotland rugby captain Stuart Hogg wants to give the nation's sports fans more reason to celebrate after the football team qualified for Euro 2020.

The Scots ended 22 years of soccer hurt by beating Serbia in a penalty shoot-out in Belgrade on Thursday to reach their first major finals since the 1998 World Cup.

Now Hogg wants his side on a run of four straight wins -- including a first victory in Wales for 18 years -- to maintain the feelgood factor by beating Italy in their Autumn Nations Cup opener in Florence on Saturday.

"We were absolutely delighted for the football boys," Hogg told a conference call on Friday.

"They've been around at the Oriam (Scotland's national performance centre for sport in Edinburgh where the rugby team train) for the last few weeks so it's great to see them succeed," the full-back added.

"For the nation, what they achieved was massive. A lot of us sat around and watched the game and we were absolutely buzzing for it.

"The big thing which hit home was that we are there to inspire the nation and the football boys did exactly that. Now it's our turn, it's our turn to inspire the nation and put smiles on peoples faces."

The coronavirus pandemic has meant Scotland's loyal fans in both codes have been unable to attend matches lately, with Hogg saying: "It has been a tough year for everybody so if we can play a small part by putting smiles on peoples faces by getting results for everybody then that's us doing our jobs.

"How good would it be if we were to win on Saturday? It would cap a great week for Scottish sport and that's our aim."