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Gloucester claim Adam Hastings a better player for having left Glasgow

By Chris Jones
Adam Hastings is sent off /Getty Images

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Gloucester attack coach Alex King believes Adam Hastings’ switch to the Premiership has taken him out of his “comfort zone” and boosted his chances of wearing the Scotland No10 jersey in the Six Nations championship.

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Hastings move to Gloucester this season has given him a high profile platform plus the added support of fellow Scottish international Chris Harris who has become one of the world’s leading centres in Gloucester colours having started to make an impact at Newcastle in the Premiership.

King, the former England outside half, has been impressed by Hastings’ desire to improve his game and with Racing 92’s Finn Russell in pole position and young Ross Thompson having made his Scotland debut in the Autumn Nations series against Tonga, the battle for the No.10 jersey under head coach Gregor Townsend is going to be crucial in their Six Nations campaign.

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Hastings, 25, has won 24 Scotland caps and has amassed 82 Premiership points with Gloucester this season helping the club move into fourth place as they prepare to take on second placed Saracens at the StoneX stadium on Saturday.

It will be the latest challenge Hastings must overcome having battled it out with England’s multi-talented Marcus Smith with Harlequins snatching a 20-17 win on the new artificial pitch at Kingsholm. King is convinced the quality of opponents Hastings is having to tackle will fast track his improvement and said: “Adam is out of his comfort zone in a tough league and as a No.10 you play a huge part in the outcome of the game.”

“He works incredibly hard with the mid-field backs to drive the team forward and one of the things that brought him to the Premiership was the challenge of becoming a better player and we have seen that with Finn Russell at Racing 92. He is now a better player for Scotland and Adam will benefit from being in the Premiership and will also become a better player for Gregor to hopefully pick him for the Six Nations – either in the squad or starting depending on how Finn is playing.

“Adam joined us this year and really bought into what we are doing and brings a wealth of experience from playing for Glasgow and Scotland and he is really relishing the tactical challenges the Premiership throws up. Last week it was Marcus Smith and this time it is Alex Goode and every week is another tactical battle with class players.”

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Gloucester have scored more than 75 per cent of their tries this season from the line out with their driving maul one of the most effective in the Premiership. King knows that Saracens will try and negate this points earning machine and added: “Even though the maul is a weapon you have to play a bit of chess as well and more strings to your bow with the way opponents defend it. Teams will spend a lot of time analysing the maul and if you can move them one way and attack a different space it keeps the defence guessing. It is about giving the team the best chance to attack.”

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