THE coaches who have helped Hawick's Stuart Hogg become one of the best players in the world were honoured this week.

During the 2017 UK Coaching Awards in London The Coaching Chain award went to John Hogg, Mark Wright, John Johnstone, Bryan Easson, Iain Monaghan, Sean Lineen and Gregor Townsend.

Stuart Hogg has earned over 50 caps for Scotland and toured with the British and Irish Lions on two occasions.

And the men who have helped him to his success were rightly honoured.

The 25-year-old said: “Without all of these people, I wouldn’t be where I am today so I would like to thank them for all of their hard work and support over the years.

"This award is well-deserved and I am delighted that they have been recognised at the prestigious UK Coaching Awards.”

The Coaching Chain recognises contributions made by individual coaches throughout an elite athlete’s life in helping them to achieve their potential.

Stuart’s dad, John, was the first person to put a rugby ball in his hands

Mark Wright - Stuart’s primary school coach at Trinity Primary School - was instrumental in fostering energy and enjoyment in the game at an early age.

John 'Rocky’ Johnstone was Stuart’s strength & conditioning and skills coach throughout school up until Under 16 at Hawick High School.

Rocky was also the Hawick Academy manager and in constant contact with Scottish Rugby to ensure that Stuart was up to speed and at the top of his development.

Bryan Easson was ever-present throughout Stuart’s career from Borders Under 16s to Scotland Under 20s as a BT Sport Academy coach.

He was also the talented back's first age-grade Scotland coach at Under 17 and an important influence on his skills development.

Iain Monaghan was the BT Sport Academy coach for Glasgow Warriors when Stuart signed at Scotstoun and was instrumental in ensuring he had the best possible experience as he began his professional career.

Sean Lineen was Stuart’s first senior professional coach at the Warriors and introduced him to his position as full-back.

Completing the chain is Gregor Townsend, who was backs coach at Scotland when Stuart won his first cap and, later, head coach at Glasgow and Scotland.

It is widely accepted that Townsend has been enormously influential on Stuart’s development as a player.

Mark Gannon, chief executive officer of UK Coaching said: “The 20th Anniversary of the Awards has seen some of the best examples of coaching throughout the nation celebrated. We would like to thank all of the finalists for their incredible services to coaching.

“We saw a record number of finalists nominated and our independent judging panel deliberated long and hard to acknowledge the people and organisations that dedicated their time to the development of others through coaching.

“Stuart Hogg is one of Scotland’s signature players, and much of his success comes down to the incredible coaching team that have supported him throughout the years. We are delighted to have been able to recognise their fantastic work and would like to thank them for helping to develop one of the leading stars of rugby union.”

This year’s event marked the 20th Anniversary of the UK Coaching Awards, which saw an expert judging panel choose their winners from an impressive list of finalists, following a record number of nominations.

The principle of the Awards is to recognise the contribution coaches make in transforming lives across the UK.