Gavin Hastings has spoken of how proud he felt to watch his son, Adam, join him as a Scotland internationalist in the weekend win over Canada and is confident the 21-year-old stand-off will have no intention of resting on his laurels.
Hastings jnr, who cut his rugby teeth at George Watson’s and Millfield School but now plays for Glasgow Warriors following a spell with Bath, came on as a substitute early in the second half in Edmonton as Gregor Townsend’s team opened their three-game summer tour with a thumping 48-10 victory.
Townsend heaped praise on Hastings and fellow debutants James Lang, Jamie Ritchie and Lewis Carmichael and all four will hope to be involved again in this weekend’s clash with the USA in Houston.
“My daughter, Holly, ran the London Marathon a few weeks ago and I was very proud of her doing that. But I think you are probably referring to her older brother,” said Hastings, laughing, as he was asked about Saturday having been a day to remember for the family.
“I was proud of him. You don’t get your cap unless you go on tour and I think that was a big vote of confidence from Gregor in Adam, as well as the other young players in the squad. The hope is they would get a run at some stage and I suppose coming off the bench and getting almost a full half was a bonus in Adam’s case.
“I was 24 when I made my debut and, because I was there or thereabouts for two seasons, I just had to bide my time. It has happened much quicker for Adam, but I don’t think that would have meant there was less satisfaction for him in making his debut. I hope he just goes on from here, learn and get better.”
Hastings jnr described his first taste of full international rugby as “awesome” in a seven-try victory. “I couldn’t have wished for a better debut,” he admitted at the weekend. “I had imagined it might be 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.”
In addition to his dad, who won 61 caps and skippered the side, Adam’s uncle, Scott, also captained Scotland. According to Gavin, though, there has never been any pressure on him from the family to keep the Hastings name to the forefront in rugby.
“I’m his dad and he’s only known me as his dad,” said Hastings snr, speaking as he joined his former team-mate, Doddie Weir, and golfer Stephen Gallacher as the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and Leuchie House, a respite centre outside North Berwick for people with long-term neurological conditions, were named as the charity partners of next month’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at Gullane.
“I’ve never put any pressure on him to go out and succeed, achieve or whatever. All I have tried to do is point him in the right direction and occasionally pushing him when I felt it was perhaps needed. Over the past five years, starting when he was at Millfield School [in Somerset] for two years then at Bath and now Glasgow, he’s been in the zone and improving all the time.
“It’s not about me, it’s about him and, look, there are three other guys who won their first caps at the weekend and I’m just a proud parent along with the parents of those other players. I’ve not actually spoken to him since the game at the weekend, though my wife has.
“I’m going over for the game this weekend and I’m pretty excited about that, to be honest. It’s one thing seeing him on the television but to actually be there will be great. But he has only played one game and, knowing my son the way I do, I don’t think he’ll be satisfied if this is the summit of his achievements. He will be setting higher aspirations.
“You can only win your first cap once. You’ve got to get that out of the way. I remember when I won my first cap that all I wanted to do was to play well enough to get my second one and progress from there and hopefully Adam will get another run on Saturday.”