Stuart Hogg: Scotland full-back 'in peak condition' for Glasgow comeback v Exeter

By Jamie LyallBBC Scotland
Stuart Hogg scores for Glasgow
Stuart Hogg has not played since Scotland's November defeat by New Zealand

Stuart Hogg has "looked like lightning" in training ahead of his Glasgow Warriors return, according to defence coach Kenny Murray.

The Scotland full-back, 25, has been out since November with a groin injury.

Hogg starts in Saturday's Champions Cup clash with Exeter Chiefs, in a backline featuring fit-again Test colleagues Alex Dunbar and Tommy Seymour.

"Stuart Hogg has been excellent in training over the last two or three weeks," Murray told BBC Scotland.

"He's been looking really sharp. Some of his fitness drills have been excellent. We've trained indoors a bit this week due to the weather - him and Tommy Seymour have just looked like lightning. They bring that pace and intensity into the backline attack.

"He's in peak condition, he was at the start of the autumn Tests; he's lost a bit of weight and looking really quick."

Kenny Murray oversees Glasgow Warriors training
Kenny Murray took charge of Glasgow's defence at the start of the season

Glasgow are bottom of Champions Cup Pool 3, having lost all five of their fixtures, and are out of contention for the quarter-finals.

Premiership champions Exeter, who sit second, can still qualify for the last eight, but must record a bonus-point win at Scotstoun to stand a chance of progression.

Sunday's thrashing away to pool leaders Leinster was a particularly chastening experience for Dave Rennie's under-strength Warriors.

Despite boasting the best defensive record in the Pro14, Glasgow have conceded more points (178) than any other team on Champions Cup duty.

"It was a tough review during the week looking at the clips and tries we conceded," Murray admitted.

"We conceded eight tries in the game which is not like us this year. We're really disappointed with how we defended in particular. We've got a bit of a point to prove tomorrow.

Niko Matawalu dives to score for Glasgow Warriors against Leinser
Niko Matawalu's acrobatic brace of tries could not prevent Glasgow suffering a heavy loss to Leinster in Dublin

"I don't mind losing games when you get beat by a better team on the day, but I reckon five of the tries we conceded last week we should have definitely stopped. It was just poor defence.

"There was a lot of reflection on that during the review, either individually or [from a] unit perspective, and we need to improve.

"We're coming up against one of the in-form sides in Europe again. They pose huge threats to us, so we'll need to be a lot better than we were last week.

"We know we can compete against the better teams, you've just got to be on the ball defensively. Any lapse in defence at all, and you get punished against the better teams. They bring a bit of physicality to their play that is a step up from most of the Pro14 teams."

Tommy Seymour in action for Glasgow agains Edinburgh
Tommy Seymour has recovered from a toe injury to start against Exeter Chiefs

Alongside Hogg, winger Seymour, 29, and centre Dunbar, 27, return from toe and knee injuries respectively.

This is the final opportunity for the international trio to impress Scotland boss Gregor Townsend, before the national team begin their Six Nations campaign away to Wales on 3 February.

"The guys coming back from injury have got one game now and then they're into the international camp," Murray said.

"We want to maximise this game to make sure they get out of it what they need, and show Gregor they're back in good form and looking sharp. There will be a lot of guys out to prove their points tomorrow."