Q&A with Scotland U20's Adam Hastings

Scotland under-20 are just two days away from opening their 2016 Junior World Championship campaign in Manchester, where they will start by facing Australia at the AJ Bell Stadium on Tuesday (7 June, kick-off 5.30pm).

 Stand-off Adam Hastings, who currently plies his trade at Aviva Premiership club Bath, is likely to play a pivotal part in the team’s progression through the tournament, following his three appearances for the side in the recent Six Nations. 

Here’s what he had to say ahead of the tournament starting:  

Q. There’s only a couple of days ‘til the games kick-off in Manchester. Is excitement building in camp?

A. “We’re looking forward to it [World Rugby under-20 Championship].

“It’s been a long time coming following a good week away training in France.  It was nice to get together as a squad for a week of preparation, and a chance to gel further.

“We know there’s still a lot of things we need to work on – we’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves – but, there’s a good feeling in camp at the moment." 

Q. The team recorded some impressive results in the recent Six Nations, and put in some great displays. What has the team been focussing on ahead of the World Rugby U20 Championship? 

A. “There were plenty of positives to take from the Six Nations, and we had a good week of preparation out in France. 

“We beat England and Italy, and we know we’re a good team, but we didn’t do as well as we would have liked to in the Six Nations, and we know we can’t get too ahead of ourselves, especial going into the World Champs and a tough group. 

“Consistency is something we’ve talked a lot about. Throughout the Six Nations, and even in matches, we have good and bad periods, and it’s just about balancing it out.

“We’ve focussed on consistency, so we can sustain good periods of play and beat good teams.” 

Q. You’ve got a tough pool in facing Australia first, before playing hosts England and, finally, Italy. What can you expect from your opponents? 

A. “We’re not thinking too far ahead of ourselves. There’s been a lot of hype around the England game, with them being in their own backyard and wanting to get revenge, but we’re not really thinking about that just now.

“Our focus just now is on Australia, who will be a quality team.”

“I’ve never played Australia, but we’ll do our analysis and homework on them, and I’m sure the coaches will be looking at them closely.

“All we can do is look at the clips, see how they play, and hopefully do the job.”

Q. There is a real buzz and sense of expectation around the current group of Scotland under-20s, coming off the back of some successful campaigns in recent seasons. What’s it like to be a part of a squad everyone is talking about?

A. “In previous years, we’ve maybe not been quite good enough, but it’s really encouraging that we’ve got a team that can challenge and it’s really good being in that environment.

“I’ve been in successful school teams in the past, and when you get that kind of buzz, and get the ball rolling, it just helps. The energy you get from that pulls everyone together.

“It’s good to be involved in a talented group of players.”