Stuart Hogg has been warned he faces a fight to regain his place in Glasgow Warriors’ starting line-up.
The Scotland full-back is recovering from and will miss the start of Warriors’ Pro14 campaign.
New head coach Dave Rennie took over at Scotstoun on Monday and has told Hogg he will have to earn his jersey.
“He just said that reputations go out the window and it’s all about hard work – and, for me, that’s right,” Hogg told BBC Scotland.
“We’ve got reputations that are all in the past – we’re in control of what happens in the future.
“Everyone has a hard work ethic at Scotstoun and that’s what drives us on to become better every year.
“All the international boys have only been in two or three weeks – boys have done the full block of pre-season, they’re in unbelievable condition.
“It’s not just a case of slotting back into the team – we’re going to have to earn it. But that’s very much what happens at Glasgow Warriors.”
‘Our target stays in-house’
A facial injury forced 25-year-old Hogg’s premature withdrawal from this summer’s British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand before he had an underlying shoulder complaint operated on during June.
He and lock Jonny Gray, who had injured a wrist, were at that time given recovery periods of between four and six months, but Hogg was non-committal on the prospect of the pair returning for Glasgow’s opening European Champions Cup in October.
“We’ve got the timescale that we’d like to be back for and, for me, that will remain in-house,” Hogg said.
“We’re very much on-target and we’ll keep working hard and try to hit our daily and weekly targets.
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“But it’s not an injury I’m going to come back from in no time – it’s going to take a lot of time, effort and hard work – and I want to be in a position where I’m getting the best out of myself.
“I’m not going to come back at 80-85%, I want to be 100% and I’m very excited to get back on the pitch.”
Rennie arrival ‘key’ to Hogg contract
Rennie, 53, arrives in Glasgow having led the Chiefs to consecutive Super Rugby titles in 2012 and 2013 in his native New Zealand.
His appointment marks a period of major upheaval at Scotstoun, with 11 new players signed and former Scotland assistant coaches Jason O’Halloran and Jonathan Humphreys joining from the national side.
Hogg signed a new two-year Warriors deal in October and admits the capture of Rennie was a major factor in his decision to stay.
“For us to get a guy of Dave Rennie’s calibre and Jason and Humphs, cracking coaches, it does feel like a new club coming in over the last few weeks,” Hogg said.
“But it’s the same players, we all know how each other play, it’s just a case of buying into the way Dave wants to play.
“For us, it’s exciting times. We had a couple of chats over here, he came over to see how everything was working and he was hugely key to me staying on at Glasgow again.
“I’ve heard nothing but good reports about him. I’ve got a lot of time for him already.”
‘A globally inclusive league’
Glasgow will face two new opponents on league duty this season, with South African franchises – the Cheetahs and Southern Kings – joining the expanded Pro14.
Fellow Lion Tommy Seymour says tackling unfamiliar foes will help him and his team-mates improve.
“It’s the closest thing now, maybe other than Super Rugby, to a globally inclusive league,” Seymour said. “South African rugby is very strong and played slightly differently to northern hemisphere rugby.
“Unless you play a friendly against a southern hemisphere team, which is very rare indeed, or international rugby, you wouldn’t get a chance to play these guys and wouldn’t maybe experience this brand of rugby.
“For us at club level to come up against top-level sides from South Africa gives us an opportunity to learn new bits about ourselves and them, adapt and grow as players, playing a different style of rugby.”