Hastings: Scotland will take inspiration from Doddie Weir against Wales
Welsh and Scottish unions to donate six-figure sum to Weir’s charity from match in Cardiff
Scotland outhalf Adam Hastings in action for Glasgow Warriors against Cardiff Blues at Cardiff Arms Park. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Scotland outhalf Adam Hastings admits family friend and former Murrayfield hero Doddie Weir will be a major source of inspiration when they take on Wales on Saturday.
The teams will compete for the Doddie Weir Cup in recognition of the former Scotland forward’s fight against motor neurone disease and his fundraising efforts since being diagnosed.
Hastings, whose father Gavin starred alongside Weir for Scotland during the 1990s, said: “Doddie’s a friend of my dad’s, I’ve met him quite a few times when I was younger. I think all the boys will have that in the back of their heads when they are playing.
“I don’t know how he has been so positive with the whole thing, I definitely wouldn’t be. But he seems to have taken it in his stride, it almost doesn’t seem to have bothered him. It’s pretty inspiring.”
The Scottish and Welsh rugby unions have been criticised for not earmarking any of the Principality Stadium gate receipts to Weir’s charity, with the likes of Andy Robinson and Jonathan Davies calling for donations to be made.
But Scott Hastings, one of the foundation’s trustees and Adam’s uncle, insisted last week that the charity “very much appreciates” the support of the unions in raising awareness for its work.
And Scotland skills coach Mike Blair is focused on making sure they take the trophy home.
“I don’t know the ins and outs of it, I’m not part of the financial team,” the former Scotland skipper said.
“But from the coaches’ side of things, the players’ side of things, the best thing we can do is go out and put a performance in and win the trophy and have that attached to our victory.
“Doddie is a larger than life character, isn’t he? I bump into him all over the place and he’s a real Scottish rugby great. And what he has done since his illness came out, I am flabbergasted by the amount of stuff that he’s able to do.
“He has a real affiliation with the players as well. He came in about a year ago and spoke to the squad and it was just a really emotional moment. Even for the guys that don’t know him that well, there’s an emotional connection. To have his name tied with the cup gives that something extra.”
Scotland’s heavy Six Nations defeat in Cardiff earlier this year is also added motivation.
“I’ve still got that final score of 34-7 flashing in my mind from that final clip of the final whistle,” Blair said. “And that’s something that really hurts because we were in a good place to get the championship off with real momentum.
“So it was really disappointing but it fuels everything a little bit more again. You don’t need anything extra to play for your country but that was a really disappointing result for us and it’s something we definitely want to put right.”
Harlequins back James Lang was earlier drafted into the squad following injuries to Sam Johnson (knee) and Matt Scott (concussion). The 23-year-old made his first two appearances during summer wins over Canada and Argentina.
Backrow forwards Magnus Bradbury (shoulder), David Denton (head) and Luke Crosbie (jaw) have returned to their clubs for treatment, while uncapped Edinburgh back Darcy Graham has been promoted to a full squad member.