The emergence of Blair Kinghorn into the Scotland national rugby squad will only make “pocket battleship” Stuart Hogg even better as the build-up to the World Cup in Japan next year continues, according to Gavin Hastings.
Glasgow Warriors’ star Hogg has been, and continues to be, the national team’s first choice full-back having made his debut back in 2012.
Since then the 26-year-old has played for his country 62 times and has been on two British & Irish Lions tours.
He had a very frustrating 2017/18 with injuries, but played really well on Friday night as Glasgow made it two wins from two by defeating Munster 25-10 at Scotstoun.
And with Edinburgh Rugby’s number 15 Kinghorn having come on leaps and bounds in the last 12 months and played for his country five times Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend now has two quality full-backs at his disposal.
Kinghorn has only featured once at full-back for Scotland - the other outings to date being on the wing - and Hastings believes that the two players can spur each other on in training and in the 13 Test matches leading up to the World Cup.
“I think it is great for Scottish rugby that Blair has come through so quickly,” Hastings, the former Scotland captain, said.
“Hoggy is just a pocket battleship really, he is just so strong and quick and so full of confidence.
“Blair is a big, tall athletic guy and I have just loved the way he has taken everything on board and learnt quickly in the last year or so.
They have both got a lot going for them, I think that pace is probably their greatest attribute while they are both willing to have a go and try things and that is what I like to see.
“It is wonderful to see guys like Blair coming through and because he has been around so long we sometimes forget that Stuart is still pretty young too.
“I think he is probably realising that things came to him in his career pretty early and now that he has all of the Scotland and British & Irish Lions experience under his belt he wants to really become a leader for Scotland and keep improving.
“You are always learning in this game and it will be fascinating to see how his career moves on now.”
Hastings was talking at an event at his old school George Watson’s College in Edinburgh with other former pupils and fellow Scotland caps such as his brother Scott, son Adam, current Edinburgh captain Stuart McInally, Marcus Di Rollo and Jamie Mayer also in attendance.
They all now have strips from their careers up in the tunnel at Myreside and Hastings feels things are still looking bright for Scotland’s two pro teams.
“Edinburgh obviously won’t be happy with two defeats in the PRO14 so far, but they have managed to take a losing bonus point from each of them.
“They will be very disappointed that, having taken the lead with just 30 seconds remaining, that they did not manage to close the game out against Ulster on Friday.
“This week head coach Richard Cockerill will be working hard with the guys to make sure they play for the full 80 minutes and I think they will still be competitive this season as things move on, they are certainly improving.
“Glasgow showed more steel against Munster and in the first half they played some great stuff. They will be slightly disappointed not to have picked up the bonus point, but I still think they are in good shape as they head to South Africa.”
A week to remember: Scotland's Lisa Thomson.
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