Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
You are here: Home » To 1986-97 Scottish and British Lion Scott Hastings
This Ten Questions idea is to ask a leading rugby personality; either a player, or from the the media or an administrator some questions which may prompt a response from them which we have not heard of before;
It must have been a great day in the Hastings household in Edinburgh on 17 January 1986. Two brothers from the same family made their test debuts on the same afternoon for Scotland. Gavin was the older by three years. He was fullback while Scott, the younger, was one of the centres. Both went on to become key members of Scottish and British rugby and to this day are strong personalities for the game.
Scott was a very sharp midfield player with excellent attacking skills while at the time his defence was as good as any back in the world. The spread of Scott's time in international rugby was over 13 seasons. He played 65 test matches in all and attended two Rugby World Cup events. He was also a British Lion, touring to Australia in 1989. There he played some of his sharpest rugby, playing in nine of the 12 tour games, including two tests against the Wallabies.
There is perhaps an insight into Scott with this quote on his twitter account heading; "I believe in depth of spirit in the heart of mankind. I have the will to be better tomorrow then I am today."
After his playing days concluded Scott's ebullient character has seen hm move effortlessly into the media. He has been a regular TV presenter and broadcaster in a number of areas over the last few years. He has become a regular on the IRB's World Sevens Series. He lives in Edinburgh.
My thanks to Scott for his willingness to open up to 'Ten Questions' for keithquinnrugby.com
A picture follows of Scott Hastings in action for his beloved Scotland.
In rugby it was Andy Irvine the great Scottish and Lions full back. A brilliant attacker he was my Scottish hero! In golf it was Jack Nicklaus – just wish I could have played golf like him!
I say to folk; New Zealand is like Scotland but the weather is better and I do love NZ but I was invited to the Turks & Caicos Island recently and that was pretty cool. My 2 favourite cities are New York and Hong Kong but I would not wish to stay.
I can sometimes come across as patronising (according to my 18 year old daughter) but do not know I am doing it.
Swearing – there is no need for it - and dropping litter! Not saying please and thank-you and to be polite and courteous – values in life that my parents taught me.
When I played for my rugby club Watsonians I’d always use the same peg. After 227 games and 12 seasons I managed to extract it off the wall and I still have it to this day!
Everyone dreams of playing for their country. At the age of 21 my 1st cap was pretty special as was my Melrose 7s winner’s medal. Melrose was where the game of 7s was founded and now that I commentate on the IRB Sevens World Series and have seen at first hand the explosion of this wonderful game, it gives me great satisfaction to have secured my medal from the place that invented the game!
My wife Jenny is a pretty important 'possession' if that's the term! We met at school and she has always supported me in everything I do but apart from her and of course my kids there are two other things that mean a lot to me.
Rugby players - well Scottish ones; they do not win many medals but my Melrose 7s medal is pretty special and alongside that medal on my mantelpiece at home sits a carved statue of a Lion. It's carved from green stone and I bought it in South Africa at the Rugby World Cup in 1995. It is a reminder to me of a fantastic tournament; my first safari at Mala Mala Game Reserve and a pat on the back to myself for playing for the British & Irish Lions.
Laughter with friends!
I treasure every day I am here and currently live the dream commentating on rugby and being involved in sport.
One of my teachers wrote in a school report that ‘Scott should try harder’. I do this every day of my life!
The local Illawarra team played the All Blacks and a young New Zealander called Colin Meads, aged 20, made his AB debut. 15 seasons later he retired as one of the greats!
Auckland and New Zealand
41 internationals for N. Zealand 1977–85
A 2 metres (6ft 6ins) tall lock forward, at one time the tallest man to play internationals for his country, Andy Haden became a giant in the sport in other ways. He rose above early arguments that he was not aggressive enough to make a career as a top-class international forward, and by the end of his time in top rugby he was one of New Zealand’s great locks.
Haden had excellent lineout skills, was a solid scrummager, and around the field he often surprised with his mobility. As a captain and touring All Black he became one of the craftiest competitors in the game. Every Welshman will tell you how Haden ‘cheated’ to make referee Roger Quittenton award a last-minute penalty to New Zealand against Wales at Cardiff in 1978. The big New Zealander tilted and dived out of a lineout, giving the impression that he had been pushed. When the penalty – awarded for an offence by Geoff Wheel, not for Haden’s dive – was converted into points by Brian McKechnie, the All Blacks won the game by 13 points to 12. Years later Haden still has to live with Welsh criticism of his dive that day.
He first made the New Zealand team for the 1972–73 tour of Britain and France, but did not make the international games on that tour, and after being dropped the following year, he disappeared off the New Zealand domestic scene for a time. He continued to play rugby, but combined it with seeing the world, becoming one of the first truly global footballers, playing for clubs in France, England and Italy.
Back in New Zealand in 1976, Haden was chosen for the All Black team for the tour to Argentina where, under captain Graham Mourie and coach Jack Gleeson, he blossomed, playing in both the unofficial tests. By 1977 he was drafted into the All Black test team for his first official caps. Thereafter Haden was a regular choice for his country and he went on every tour on offer, except when business interests interrupted his rugby in 1983 and 1984.
Haden became one of the champions of players’ rights and he took on the rugby establishment in New Zealand. His attempts to better the lot of New Zealand’s international players led to misunderstanding and suspicion of him, resulting in charges of professionalism being laid on him by the New Zealand Rugby Football Union in 1984. He defended these successfully, though there were many who were not as convinced of his innocence in 1986 when he was part of the organising of the unauthorised Cavaliers’ tour to South Africa. Charges were leveled that the team took payment to play its tour and Haden, as one of the principal organisers, faced many questions on his return.
Haden played his final game for New Zealand in 1985 in Buenos Aires on the All Black tour that replaced the cancelled official tour to South Africa. He had accumulated 41 test caps and 117 tour matches for his country.
Which club supplied seven players of the 1971 British and Irish Lions touring team to New Zealand - five of whom played all four tests?