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Gavin Hastings

Gavin Hastings

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Facts
Nation Scotland
Born Edinburgh, January 3 1962
Position Full back
Internationals 61 caps between 1986 and 1995
Inducted March 3 2001

Amassed 733 points for Scotland and the Lions

The following article has been adapted from the original by Dai Llewellyn, which focused on two players. It has been changed to highlight only the selected inductee’s information.

Even in those pre-pro days the players were pampered. Cambridge, barely out of Pampers as rugby players, were no exception. In fact, as befits one of the country’s pillars of the rugby establishment, the Light Blues had a physiotherapist.

Not just any physiotherapist, either. This was a physio with a difference: a basic difference. And the jobsworth at the entrance to the dressing rooms was not going to let her in to mix with all those male athletes. No, not under any circumstances, not over his dead body.
The Cambridge captain that day was Gavin Hastings and he takes up the story. “It was 1985,” he said. “We got off the coach and all the boys marched into the changing rooms, but this doddery old man said, ‘No women in here, when our physio went to follow us in.’

“We had to send one of our officials into the smoked-filled committee rooms above us to persuade a Twickenham bigwig to overrule the steward. I think this was the very first time a woman had been to Twickenham. In fact, I think she may have been one of the first female physios in the country.”

It was not Hastings’s first visit to HQ. His first was with the Light Blues the year before, a Varsity match which they won comfortably. Under his leadership 12 months later an exciting game ended in defeat by one point and thereafter Twickenham was an unhappy place for Hastings.

“That first Varsity match was a great thrill for me,” said former Lions and Scotland captain, who retired from the game without a backward glance after the 1995 Rugby World Cup. He had amassed a total of 733 points with the Lions and Scotland.

“There were present and future internationals playing – Rob Andrew, Fran Clough, Mark Bailey, Kevin Simms – and we won 32-6. But whenever I went to Twickenham with Scotland it was not such a productive place.”

Four of Hastings’ 56 Scotland caps were earned at Twickenham. “We always seemed to play second fiddle to England in those days,” he explained. “Twickenham was a very difficult place for visiting sides, especially before the reconstruction.

“There was a fantastic atmosphere. The old stands were so much closer to pitch, the crowd were almost on top of you. These days it is a little more remote, although England have taken to it.”

Twickenham was also the scene of his last Five Nations (as it then was) appearance. For the fourth time in his career Scotland scored 12 points, and for the fourth time it was nowhere near enough. But now it is Hastings’ turn to be winner at Twickenham, on the Wall of Fame.

Article by Dai Llewellyn

 

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