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Hogg's vision risk results in tour pullout

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/06/2017 By Nick Purewal

Stuart Hogg was warned that he risked losing his sight if he absorbed a further blow to his cheek injury.

Scotland fullback Hogg will miss the rest of the British and Irish Lions tour after sustaining a "facial bone fracture" during Saturday's 12-3 win over the Crusaders.

Hogg collided unwittingly with Conor Murray's elbow as the Ireland halfback sought to let the Glasgow star launch a counter-attack in the first half of the Crusaders clash.

Head coach Warren Gatland says they canvassed four specialists before ruling Hogg out of the rest of the New Zealand tour.

"It was just a freak accident," Gatland said.

"He's absolutely gutted. We're feeling for him.

"We saw about four different specialists: one of them said he'd be alright and another said it's potentially serious and that he could lose his sight if he plays.

"We told him it was only a game of rugby and he understood that."

Hogg revealed that he cried upon hearing the news that he must return home.

"I am absolutely devastated to be leaving the Lions," Hogg told the Daily Telegraph.

"It means everything to me to be part of this tour and when, on Monday night, I first got the news that I had suffered a facial fracture and had to come home, I cried.

"I have done several times since then, too. It is tough, really tough, to take. As much as I love being at home, I do not believe I am ready to go."

One of only three Scottish players in tour party, the attacking fullback was regarded as the strongest Test candidate.

His attacking ability was a standout feature during the Six Nations.

"It still has not quite sunk in yet that I am going," he said.

"I feel my game has been getting better and better in New Zealand and was a lot more confident going into the second game against the Crusaders."

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