Watching the way Adam Hastings marshalled Glasgow Warriors through last weekend’s crucial derby meeting with Edinburgh seems to have strengthened his head coach Dave Rennie’s conviction that he has the play-maker he needs at Scotstoun.

It has not always seemed that way, the head coach initially having looked to give opportunities to the more experienced Pete Horne to take the reins, while more recently he made no secret of what now appears to have been a failed pursuit of Aaron Cruden, the All Blacks stand off with whom he worked as New Zealand’s Chiefs won back-to-back Super Rugby titles in 2012 and ’13.

As happened previously with Chris Paterson at Edinburgh, an opportunity has been missed in the failure to develop Horne, a player who looked to have all the required elements to his game, as a stand off at an earlier stage, his versatility perhaps working against him.

Hastings may, then, have benefited from being seen as an out-and-out specialist and while his role as under-study to Finn Russell when both were at Scotstoun, has continued within the international camp, Rennie reckons he has seen enough to suggest that the younger man has what it takes to become Scotland’s first choice No.10 sooner rather than later.


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Having worked closely with both, the New Zealander indicated that he sees Hastings as the more reliable performer, acknowledging that “Finn is world class on his best day, absolute world class,” but implicitly recognising that there are days when that is far from the case.

In saying so, he acknowledged that Hastings can also be inconsistent, but that in his case it is more down to lack of experience, an argument that can no longer be used in defence of Russell.

There were certainly times during his first season at Glasgow Warriors, that Rennie seemed more than a little frustrated by the looseness of the team’s play, which was often reflected in the way that mistakes and even, at times, losses were dismissed with shrugs and smiles.

While there are huge advantages in professional sport to having the capacity to put setbacks aside and focus on the job in hand, it can also be an issue if the impression is given, rightly or wrongly that winning does not matter enough.

Perhaps that is the context in which we should read Rennie’s explanation of why he thinks Hastings can go on to be the better player.

“The thing I love about Adam is that he is so competitive, his work rate is huge and his ability to connect behind the forwards quickly is superior to Finn’s and that means we have real, genuine threats around there. They can’t fly at those three guys because Adam is an option back door,” he said.

“Finn is a fantastic distributor, a fantastic tackler, all I am saying is that I think Adam has got the potential to be better than Finn.”