The Scotland players were in ebullient mood after Saturday’s 48-10 win over Canada, none more so than Adam Hastings. Bearing such a famous rugby name has meant the pressure of expectation being heaped on the Glasgow stand-off, so there was an element of relief for the 21-year-old when he came off the bench to make his long-awaited debut.
Hastings’ main feeling, however, was simply pleasure. Adam’s father, Gavin, has always told him to make sure he enjoys playing, and he certainly managed to do that on Saturday.
“As soon as that was over I just wanted to keep going,” Hastings said. “I just want to keep playing. If Gregor wants me to play again I’ll grab it.
“Before my debut I had so many messages from so many people and my family has got right behind me. I did not realise it meant so much to people but it was a really nice occasion, a moment I’ll cherish.”
“It was extremely enjoyable. I had imagined it might have been at Murrayfield but it wasn’t to be. I don’t really care, to be honest, this has been a goal of mine since I was a wee lad.
“My dad told me to enjoy myself, savour the moment, because it only happens once. That was all he said and I have certainly done that.
“I’ve not played that much this season and wasn’t expecting to go on tour. Then Gregor felt I was ready to go on tour and it was the right option. I’m very grateful. There is relief to get it out of the way and it was not a complete horror show.”
With Ruaridh Jackson, inset, having started at stand-off, Townsend thought that Hastings might have to come on at inside centre – and that might have been the logical thing to do when James Lang, the starting No 12, was injured. Instead, the coach decided to field Hastings in his preferred position – a choice that was vindicated by a performance that was a good blend of composed decision-making and adventurous option-taking.
“I thought he did really well,” Townsend said. “I had thought we would use him at 12, but I did want him to play at 10 too. He did well. It was a gutsy call to do a wide play when we were down to 14, but we did well off that.
“The yellow card gave us a bit of impetus. It usually has the opposite effect but we had a go at them there and Adam was a big part of that. He made some good decisions in the opposition 22.
“I think he will be [in line to start next week]. The plan was to look at Ruaridh in this game and Adam in the next one. Unless there are other injuries, that will be the plan.
“There will be a lot of changes. Less if people are injured, but the Glasgow players who didn’t play tonight can’t wait to get started. It is a good start and they are aiming to back up a solid win.”
The game has moved on immensely in the 23 years since Gavin Hastings bowed out of international rugby, and, when asked if he had seen any of his father’s games, Adam joked that he was unimpressed. “Yes, he sticks them on every Christmas. They are rubbish, he just kicks it! No, I have seen the main ones, the Grand Slam ones, but have not seen too much of him in club games at Watsonians. He was pretty handy, wasn’t he? He’ll be out next week. It will be nice to have him about.”