AS he prepares to leave Glasgow for Gloucester, Adam Hastings is convinced that his time as a Warrior has been the making of him both as a player and as a person.

Now 24, the stand-off signed from Bath back in 2017, spending his first season as an understudy to Finn Russell and getting some valuable game time at club level with Currie Chieftains. Once Russell left for Racing 92, however, Hastings emerged as a key member of the team, making the playmaker’s role his own.

More recently, the emergence of Ross Thompson and his own impending departure for England have seen Hastings move to full-back, the position he is likely to fill in tomorrow’s Rainbow Cup match at home to Leinster. If Glasgow win and other results go their way, they could progress to the final, but if they lose their season will be over. Either way, it will be Hastings’ last outing at Scotstoun.

Injuries and a suspension have restricted his appearances for both the Warriors and Scotland during this campaign, but he is currently fully fit, feeling fresh, and looking forward to that final match at home.

“I suppose the emotions will only probably hit me on game day or just after when the final whistle goes,” he said earlier this week. “But I found myself in bed last night thinking about this week and it being my last one at the club, and it got me thinking about the last three years and how special they’ve been for me, the amazing friends I’ve made and how much I’m going to miss them when I go down south. 

“I’m a different player and a different person as well. In just three years I’ve grown up a lot and matured, on and off the field. I came up here as a boy and feel like I’m leaving as a man.

“As a player I felt I made huge strides under [former coach] Dave Rennie. This year hasn’t gone the way I would have liked in terms of playing time, but I’ve focused on other areas like gym work. But overall I owe where I am now to this club.”

In particular, Hastings believes he is now a more confident and composed 10 than he was a few years ago, and that his decision-making has improved significantly as a result. “I suppose the biggest thing is just my big-game temperament,” he said when asked how he thought he had improved since returning to Scotland. “I feel that when I first came to Glasgow I was very nervous playing in front of crowds - even halfway through my first season I still got very nervous. 

“I’d say at the start of my Glasgow career I’d be scared to take risks, whereas now if a ball’s on I’ll throw it, or if it’s on to carry through a hole I’ll go for it. I’ve got a lot less fear now than I used to. I think that’s the biggest difference.

“[And] I think game awareness is a big one - when to kick, when to run, when to take it to the line, when to play it a little bit earlier. Rens was huge for me in that department. After every game he’d sit with me and go through every single one of my clips and talk
about things and we’d discuss it. 

“So from that point of view, just recognition of momentum, when you’re on the back foot, when you’re on the front foot, when you want to turn teams. Just kind of the general stuff at 10.”

The closest Hastings came to winning an honour with the Warriors was the 2019 PRO14 final at Celtic Park, when they lost narrowly to Leinster. Tomorrow’s match may not be of quite the same magnitude, but if it leads on to bigger things, it could come to feel almost as significant. 

“That final when we lost to Leinster still stings. I think if we could have won that I would have been very content leaving. I’ve still got a bit of a bad taste in my mouth about that one. Any silverware is good and what better way to end my career [at Glasgow] and
send a lot of other good blokes off than with a bit of silverware.”

Whether Glasgow get to the final or not, Hastings will have little time to rest this summer as he is in the Scotland squad for the games against England A, Romania and Georgia. Not that he wants a rest: after those months on the sideline through injury, he believes several more games over the summer will stand him in good stead when he starts the next chapter of his career at Glasgow.

“Any chance to pull on a Scotland jersey I would jump at,” he concluded. “I want to get as much game time as possible before joining my new club so I can be match fit and my confidence will be there.”