Fullback Stuart Hogg ruled out of Lions tour
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) Scotland fullback Stuart Hogg says he is ''gutted'' to have been ruled out of the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand with a facial injury suffered in Saturday's match against the Crusaders.
The Lions said Tuesday Hogg would leave the tour to seek specialist treatment for the injury, which occurred when he collided with Ireland scrumhalf Conor Murray, his roommate on tour.
In a freak accident, Hogg ran into Murray's elbow and suffered a serious fracture around his right eye.
''I'm gutted to be leaving the Tour at this stage,'' Hogg said. ''It is an honor 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.
''I'm disappointed to be leaving in this way but wish all the squad the best in the coming weeks and will be cheering them on from home.''
Lions coach Warren Gatland said no replacement would be sought as the Lions had sufficient back-up within the current touring party, now reduced to 40 players.
''It is hugely disappointing for Stuart to have to return home early and for us to lose one of our touring party,'' Gatland said. ''Stuart has been a key member of our squad on and off the field and it is disappointing to see injury cut short his time with us in New Zealand.
''We all wish him the best with his recovery and we look forward to seeing him back in action in the future.''
Lions medical staff had been treating Hogg's injury in consultation with doctors at his Glasgow Warriors club side. It was decided Tuesday that he should return to Scotland to better continue his treatment.