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Hogg ruled out for rest of Lions tour

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/06/2017

Scottish fullback Stuart Hogg will return home from British and Irish Lions duty after fracturing a facial bone against the Crusaders.

Hogg, who was likely to be one of the Lions' key attacking threats from deep, copped a stray elbow in Christchurch on Saturday from teammate Conor Murray and was bleeding profusely, before being taken off in the 19th minute.

His side went on to win 12-3.

The 24-year-old has since been ruled out of the remainder of the Lions tour of New Zealand, and will return to Scotland for treatment.

He started in two games on the 2017 tour, including the Lions' first-up win over the provincial Barbarians, but will lose the chance to play in any Tests.

The Glasgow Warriors ace said he was devastated to go home early, in what is his second tour with the Test selection.

"It's an honour to have been involved in a second British and Irish Lions tour and I have hugely enjoyed my time with the squad, and I'm very excited about the potential of this group," Hogg said on Tuesday.

"I'm disappointed to be leaving in this way but wish the squad the best in the coming weeks, and will be cheering them on from home."

Head coach Warren Gatland has declined to call up an emergency replacement for Hogg, confident in his current outside back stocks.

Kiwi-born Irishman Jared Payne, Welsh goalkicking ace Leigh Halfpenny, Liam Williams and Anthony Watson are all options in the No.15 jumper.

But he said he was disappointed to see Hogg leave.

"Stuart has been a key member of our squad on and off the field, and it's disappointing to see injury cut short his time with us," Gatland said.

"We all wish him the best with his recovery."

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