GLASGOW have confirmed that Adam Hastings will leave Scotstoun in the summer to join Gloucester. The Warriors and the English club issued similar statements this afternoon (Tuesday), quoting the Scotland international stand-off about the move.
“The chance to return to play in the English Premiership with a club like Gloucester has been an ambition of mine,” Hastings said on the Glasgow website. “However, this was an extremely tough decision. Glasgow made a very good offer and I absolutely love being at the club and with the boys here.
“I’m still thoroughly enjoying being at the Warriors and have grown as a player and person since arriving in 2017. I’m extremely focussed on my rehab to return as soon as possible and can’t wait to pull on a Glasgow shirt before the end of the season, hopefully in front of a packed Scotstoun.”
On the Gloucester website, meanwhile, Hastings added: “I’m really looking forward to linking up with Gloucester next season. The vision that George [Skivington, head coach] and Alex [Brown, chief operating officer] presented to me was an opportunity too good to turn down, and I’m eager to play my part in a bright future for the club. There’s still plenty more rugby ahead of me this season, but when the time comes, I look forward to pulling on the Cherry & White.”
The 24-year-old playmaker has been out of action since injuring a shoulder while playing for Scotland against Wales at the end of October. He is recovering well from an operation, and has been reporting for duty at Scotstoun since the middle of last month.
Hastings signed for the Warriors in 2017 from Bath, where he spent three years, at first with the academy team. A Scotland age-group cap from under-16 level upwards, he made his full international debut on the 2018 summer tour against Canada.
Warriors coach Danny Wilson admitted it was a blow to lose Hastings, but insisted everything possible had been done to keep him. “It is a blow, and frustrating, losing Adam,” Wilson said. “We wanted him to stay in Scotland and stay in Glasgow.
“I believe there was a real effort made by Scottish Rugby to keep Adam in Scotland – I believe it was a very competitive offer. That was exactly what we all wanted to happen. But he wanted to play in the Premiership – that seemed to be the big reason he wanted to take the opportunity.
“He has developed really well and become a really good player and done well on the international stage, and when that happens clubs will come looking. It is an opportunity he deemed too good to turn down, so he has made that decision.”
Wilson’s priority now is to sign a replacement for Hastings in addition to another back-up stand-off and a full-back, although the budgetary restrictions that are currently in place mean that none is likely to arrive before next season. Munster’s Scottish-qualified fly-half Ben Healy is understood to be top of Glasgow’s list, though yesterday the coach declined to mention him by name.
“There is nothing I can say today until I can clarify, confirm or deny anything,” he added when asked about Healy. “I am trying to sign more than one. There is a fair bit of work to be done around 10 and hopefully we can confirm something around that sometime soon.”
Shortly before Gloucester and Glasgow announced Hastings’ move, the West Country club said that England international Danny Cipriani was to leave them with immediate effect. The announcement prompted some speculation on social media that the 33-year-old was about to move to the Warriors, but Wilson intimated that the kind of salary he was used to commanding would put Cipriani well out of reach.
For the time being, then, Glasgow will persist with Pete Horne as their first option at stand-off, and Brandon Thomson as back-up. Hastings needed a shoulder operation after sustaining damage while playing for Scotland against Wales at the end of October, and is around two months away from making a comeback. When he does, it will probably be for the national team, Wilson thinks, with a reappearance for the Warriors to follow.
“He will play for Scotland first in terms of his route to recovery. When he comes back he will play passionately for Glasgow, I have no doubt about that.”