Stuart Hogg has revealed he could make a comeback to rugby and play at the amateur level next season.

The former Scotland star announced his retirement last year shortly before the World Cup and admits he feels it was the right thing to do because he couldn’t deal with the physicality of the professional game anymore but he’d love to get back to playing for the love of the sport.

And it could be Hawick who benefit from that with Hogg revealing he could run out for the borders side. The 31-year-old was speaking to Jim Hamilton on The Big Jim Show podcast and he was quizzed by his old teammate on what the future holds for him in terms of playing after hanging the boots up on the professional game at a relatively young age.

Hogg said: “I think I’ll play. I don’t think I’ll play professional. I might have a little run-out for Hawick next season and see how that goes.”

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But don’t expect him to be back playing at the highest level after an impressive career with Glasgow, Exeter and Scotland came to an end despite his love for the sport. He still gets excited on match days but conceded that watching some of the big hits reminds him that he feels he’s made the right decision to give up on the game.

Hogg made his professional debut for Glasgow Warriors in February 2011 and went on to play 121 times for them over the next eight years before leaving to join Exeter in 2019. Add his 100 Scotland and two British and Irish Lions caps to that and it’s a career many could only dream of having so it meant his retirement at 31 did surprise people.

He’s open on why he did it but admits there could have been things done differently if he had taken some time out but he felt ripping the plaster off and retiring was the best way to go about it.

He added: “I still get the match-day buzz – the build-up to the game, the warm-up and stuff. I used to love it, and I’ve had that forever. We used to watch the Border Reivers play back in the day and my dad was obsessed with watching teams warm-up, so we used to be first in the crowd all the time watching teams warm-up, and I love that.

“You get the buzz building up to it but as soon as the whistle goes to kick-off I think: ‘Thank f*** I’m not playing!’. The first collision you think ‘Oh god, I made the right decision!’.

“Will I play professionally again? Probably not.

“Could I have taken a sabbatical? Maybe I could have. But I didn’t want to be in the position of going: ‘I’m going to take this period off and maybe come back’. I needed clarity that I am completely out of it. All in or all out. I couldn’t face sitting now thinking: ‘I’m going to have to continually train to be in a good shape to then come back, I’m going to have to always work on my skills’.

“So, do I do that? Or do I just pull the plug completely, and I thought there wouldn’t be a club in a situation to give me a sabbatical and still pay me money.

“Could I have gone about it a different way? Potentially. But the decision now is that I am retired and I stand by that. Physically and mentally I wasn’t there.”