DANNY Wilson thinks that all was done to convince Adam Hastings not to leave Glasgow for Gloucester, including making a “very competitive offer” but that the attacker’s urge to return to the English Premiership eventually prevailed.
At the same time, the Warriors and Gloucester revealed yesterday that Hastings, who is currently recovering from shoulder surgery, will be transferring at the end of the season from Scotstoun to Kingsholm. Before signing for Glasgow, the 24-year-old made only a dozen appearances for the senior side in his three seasons at Bath, having already signed at the Recreation Ground as an academy player, and obviously believes he has unfinished business in the English top flight.
Another setback for Wilson, who has won only two games so far this season with the bulk of his first team unavailable for most games through illness or international duty, is the imminent departure of the playmaker. The 42-0 Champions Cup loss to Exeter on Sunday was just the latest setback and the head coach admitted that he was disappointed by the Hastings news.
“It’s a blow and frustrating to lose Adam,” Wilson said. We were trying to make him stay in Scotland and stay in Glasgow.
I think Scottish Rugby made a sincere attempt to keep Adam in Scotland — I think it was a really competitive bid. It was what we all needed, exactly. That seemed to be the key reason he decided to take the gamble, but he wanted to play in the Premiership.
“He’s developed really well, become a really good player and done well on the international stage, and when that happens clubs will be looking for him. It’s an opportunity he thought was too good to turn down, so he made that decision.”
In addition to another full-back and a wing-back, Wilson’s goal now is to sign a replacement for Hastings, but existing budget limitations suggest none is likely to come before next season. Ben Healy, Munster’s Scottish fly-half, is said to be top of Glasgow’s list, but yesterday the coach refused to name him.
“There’s nothing I can say today until I can clarify, confirm or deny something,” he added when asked about Healy. “I’m trying to sign more than one. There’s a whole lot of work to be done around the 10 and hopefully we can confirm something soon.”
The West Country club announced shortly before Gloucester and Glasgow announced Hastings’ transfer, that England’s international Danny Cipriani would leave them with immediate effect. On social media, the news ignited rumors that the 33-year-old would join the Warriors, but Wilson indicated that Cipriani would not qualify for the salary he is used to. So Glasgow will proceed with Pete Horne as the first choice at the standoff role for the time being and Brandon Thomson as back-up. After injuring his shoulder in Scotland’s game against Wales at the end of October, Hastings underwent shoulder surgery and is still about two months away from making his return. He will probably play for the national team when he does, Wilson claims, and then for the Warriors.
“He’ll play for Scotland first, in terms of his road to recovery. When he comes back, he’ll be passionate about playing for Glasgow, I have no doubt about that.”
Earlier, on the Warriors’ website, Hastings himself had said something similar, confirming that the desire to play again in England was the decisive factor in his decision to go south. He said, “The chance to return to the English Premiership and play for a club like Gloucester has always been a goal of mine,” It was an incredibly difficult decision, though. Glasgow made a very good offer and I absolutely enjoy being here with the boys and at the club.
Since I came here in 2017, I’m still really enjoying being at the Warriors and have evolved as a player and person. I’m highly focused on getting my recovery back as soon as possible and can’t wait until the end of the season to put on a Glasgow jersey, hopefully in front of a complete Scotstoun.