It is 24 years since a Hastings wore the Scotland No. 15 jersey at Twickenham but it isn’t outwith the realms of possibility that could happen again in this Saturday’s Calcutta Cup clash.
Adam Hastings came off the bench in the first half of the weekend’s 18-11 loss to Wales at BT Murrayfield to fill a full-back berth that was unfamiliar to him, but not the family name due to his father Gavin’s legendary 61-cap career.
The 22-year-old, who has built his own career at stand-off with a bit of experience at centre, made an impact during Saturday’s game and assisted in the excellent second-half try finished off by home debutant Darcy Graham. A raft of back-three injuries will be assessed by the Scotland medical team today, including to pre-match casualties Stuart Hogg and Sean Maitland, but Hastings did not hesitate when asked if he would be ready to don the No. 15 jersey again at Twickenham.
“Obviously I love playing for Scotland and wouldn’t shy away from it if I got the opportunity,” he said, while confessing that his previous runs in the position going back to his schoolboy days amounted to “hardly any”.
The Glasgow Warriors player was born more than 13 years after Scotland won in London, a drought which encompassed the whole of his father’s time in the jersey, but they youngster insists the long-running hoodoo is not part of his thinking approaching the Six Nations finale.
“I’ve not got any demons there so maybe that’s what’s good about this young squad, we’re brave and don’t have any fear about these big games,” he said.
The last few weeks have seen Hastings respond to what had been a bit of a form dip in club colours following an encouraging autumn when he was handed chances for Scotland in the November series.
“I feel I’ve got to press the reset button,” he said. “It was a frustrating few weeks. I wasn’t getting much game time. The boys were playing well ahead of me or what not. But yes, I feel coming off the bench in France was a reset. I’m not taking it for granted at the moment, I’ll keep pushing.”
Whether he does fill the same jersey as his dad or plays another role, Hastings is determined to be part of a historic achievement on Saturday.
“It’s a great challenge for us. Where would it be better to win than down there and against that team as well? We’re up for it,” he insisted.
At the other end of the age spectrum in the squad, meanwhile, 32-year-old tighthead prop WP Nel, who made his comeback from a calf injury, believes Scotland’s performance against Wales should give confidence ahead of the England game despite it being a third straight defeat in this year’s competition.
“We are obviously disappointed with the result but I felt the team stood up and put one of the best teams in the world under pressure,” said Nel.
“We know what we can do when we are at our best so we will take the performance and come back on Monday and put right what was wrong and take that to England.
“We can take a lot of confidence from this game and we believe we can turn this around and finish by putting a win on the board.”
Nel argued that turning pressure into points was the biggest step forward the Scots need to make to have any chance of a shock win at Twickenham.
“That was definitely the problem, we needed to be more accurate and when we get into their 22 then we need to get the points. We will look at where we went wrong and put it right.
“The difference against Wales is that we didn’t put points up in the 22 and if we had then we’d have won the game,” said the prop. “That was the difference, they banked points when they were in our 22.
“We need to get that right. I don’t know if it was a lack of composure as we were unlucky with a couple of drives.
“We need to see where we can cope better with the drives and what we can do better in attack and start turning that into points.
“As the game went on we put the pressure back on to Wales.
“We did well as a team. If we can do that and turn in one of our best performances then we can bow out with a win.”