Hastings can handle extra pressure, says Scot skipper

Stuart McInally (Getty Images)
Stuart McInally (Getty Images)

Cardiff - Scotland captain Stuart McInally insists Adam Hastings can handle the pressure after Wales coach Warren Gatland put the spotlight on the rookie outside-half ahead of their Cardiff clash.

Hastings, the son of Scotland great Gavin, will win only his fourth cap at the Principality Stadium on Saturday, with flyhalf Finn Russell, who plays his club rugby in France for Racing 92, unable to play as the game falls outside World Rugby's international window.

Gatland put the focus firmly on Hastings, 22, at his pre-match press conference by saying "we have got to make sure we put as much pressure on him as we possibly can".

But McInally responded: "Adam's been playing really well for Glasgow. Since he's come on the scene he's shown a lot of potential and been earning his stripes.

"He played very well on the summer tour, especially in that last game against Argentina.

"We're really excited to see him play. He works very hard on his game and he's got a lot of confidence that he can go out and express himself."

Scotland have an abysmal record in Cardiff, with only one victory in the Welsh capital since 1996.

That came in 2002 and Scotland have lost on their past nine visits to the Principality Stadium - the latest being a 34-7 defeat nine months ago.

"We know the challenge that faces us," McInally said. "They're physical and when they get the crowd behind them here they're a very hard team to beat.

"But we've got our strategy in place that we think we can come here and win."

The two teams will compete for the inaugural Doddie Weir Cup, with the Welsh and Scottish Rugby Unions donating a six-figure sum to the former Scotland second-row forward's foundation after they bowed to public pressure to contribute.

Weir is suffering from motor neurone disease and the 48-year-old was at the Principality Stadium on Friday to see the Scotland team run.

"It's the first time we are playing for the Doddie Weir Cup and he's an inspirational guy," McInally said. "It was nice to see him here and the boys do take a bit of added inspiration from that."



15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Luke Morgan, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Cory Hill, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Nicky Smith

Substitutes: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Aaron Wainwright, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Jarrod Evans, 23 Steff Evans


15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Lee Jones, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 Ali Price, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Ben Toolis, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Stuart McInally (captain), 1 Allan Dell

Substitutes: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Alex Allan, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Grant Gilchrist, 20 Matt Fagerson, 21 George Horne, 22 Pete Horne, 23 Darcy Graham

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