Gregor Townsend happy to add energy of Adam Hastings to Scotland side

Adam Hastings celebrates a try for Scotland v Fiji in 2022 Autumn Internationals Adam Hastings starts at fly-half for Scotland against USA (Jane Barlow/PA)

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend welcomed the energy of the returning Adam Hastings after picking the stand-off for Friday’s tour match against the United States.

Hastings, who will return to Glasgow from Gloucester after the Americas tour, last played for his country in November 2022, scoring a try against Fiji.

The 27-year-old missed the cut when Townsend named his World Cup squad last year but has the chance to impress in Washington.

“He was a key player for us, has played a number of games and was growing and developing as a 10, as you do when you when you get older,” the Scotland head coach said after naming a much-changed side from last weekend’s win against Canada.

“So to miss the chance to be involved in the World Cup, to have a couple of injuries this year as well, it has been great seeing him back training.

“He brings a real energy on and off the field and and he’s been trained very well. So he’s got an opportunity this week.”

Other less established players to be selected are Scarlets lock Alex Craig and Glasgow prop Murphy Walker, who will win his fourth cap.

Townsend said: “Murphy is someone that we rate very highly. He was in our wider World Cup squad, just missed out on final selection and has had a stop-start season.

“But he was back fit at the end of the season and did well when Glasgow went to the pools before the play-offs.”

Craig, a former Gloucester team-mate of Hastings, will win his third cap after a three-year absence.

“He picked up a little niggle last week, so he wasn’t considered for the game, but he’s fully fit now and he’s someone who has waited a while for his opportunity to play.

“When we beat France in Paris in 2021, I thought he was excellent, but he had a couple of injuries.

“He moved to to Scarlets and was very consistent with them and throughout the season got better and better. He won player of the season at Scarlets, which is a huge achievement for someone coming in from another club, not a local player.

“What he brings is aggression and work-rate. He goes forward, he loves the the contact side of the game.

“I think there’s a really good complement with him and Scott Cummings as well, just in terms of how they they control the line out and the complement they have with their their skill set.”

Scotland team to play USA

Forwards: 1 Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby), 2 Ewan Ashman (Edinburgh Rugby), 3 Murphy Walker (Glasgow Warriors), 4 Alex Craig (Scarlets), 5 Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors), 6 Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby), 7 Rory Darge (Co-Captain, Glasgow Warriors), 8 Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors)

Backs: 9 George Horne (Glasgow Warriors), 10 Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors), 11 Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby), 12 Sione Tuipulotu (Co-Captain, Glasgow Warriors), 13 Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors), 14 Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors) 15 Kyle Rowe (Glasgow Warriors)

Replacements: 16 Robbie Smith (Northampton Saints), 17 Rory Sutherland (Glasgow Warriors), 18 Elliot Millar Mills (Northampton Saints), 19 Max Williamson (Glasgow Warriors), 20 Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh Rugby), 21 Jamie Dobie (Glasgow Warriors), 22 Ross Thompson (Edinburgh Rugby), 23 Matt Currie (Edinburgh Rugby)

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