Brown and Hastings Have Their Say on Head Gear and Hogg’s Glasgow Departure

Following an emphatic win against Fiji last weekend, the Scotland squad are now preparing for an even tougher match against South Africa this weekend. However, focus has instead steered towards a recent study published by the University of Dundee that states wearing a scrum cap can make the sport up to 47% safer. This week Fraser Brown and Adam Hastings gave their opinions on head gear.

The Scotland team line up for the anthems at BT Murrayfield. (Photo: Scottish Rugby twitter)

Use of scrum caps

Rugby players have long had a love-hate relationship with scrum caps. For some forwards, they’re almost a necessity – to avoid damage to their ears and to prevent the possibility of concussions (something very common in a sport such as rugby). For backs, the head gear can be seen to be worn by few as some feel that they may not need it as their involvement in the game is not as engaging as the forward pack.

Scotland and Glasgow Warriors hooker Fraser Brown currently doesn’t wear protective head gear in the scrum and believes it could take some time for the apparel to become mandatory.

He said: “It’s only just come out. It would take however long time to actually see what the results of that study are and whether it would be something beneficial going forward.

“I know I don’t wear one at the minute, just from a personal preference point of view, but going forward I don’t really know. You’ll have to see what the results say.”

Brown added that he has attempted to wear a scrum cap in the past but it’s something he would like to avoid for the future: “I think I wore it once when I was a kid and it’s just not comfy. It’s not something I wanted to wear so it’s not something I wear.”

His teammate – at both club and international level – Adam Hastings took a similar opinion, arguing that it almost served as a disadvantage.

He said: “I’ve worn head gear a couple of times, I don’t particularly enjoy wearing it. I struggle to hear. Obviously being in a 10, you need to be pretty switched on and I struggle to hear boys around me so I wouldn’t like to wear it.

“However, maybe if it came out that it really did help then I would have a think about it but I still don’t think I would want to wear it, just out of preference.”

Brown spoke to the media about scrum caps and teammate Hogg’s move down south. (Photo: David Ronney)

Hogg moves to Exeter Chiefs

The pair also spoke about the departure of their Warriors teammate, Stuart Hogg after confirming he’ll be off to Exeter in 2019.

Brown believes that Hogg’s move, along with that of others who have chosen to make the move away from Scotland, isn’t a matter of financial gain.

He said: “There’s always going to be guys that move away. Not necessarily for rugby or for financial terms but because they want a different challenge. Because they want to go away and experience something new.

“We’re lucky we’ve got lots of guys involved in our squad that play in France, that play down in England, that play up here. Guys bring positive stories back to the camp and say ‘It’s a really great environment down here, I think you’ll love it. It’s a different experience.’ And they only bring positive feedback back.

“You’d have to ask Stuart but I think it’s a real positive thing for both him personally and his family. They’ll get to experience a brand new environment, a brilliant club at Exeter. But also for Scottish Rugby, they’re going to have Stuart playing at the top level in England and it frees up positions at Glasgow and Edinburgh as well for more guys to come through.”

Hastings also spoke of his time spent with Hogg and how his winning mentality has played a part in his own development. He jokingly admitted that he’ll be glad to be rid of Hogg’s competitive outbursts and his lecturers on ‘not passing him the ball enough’.

Hastings praised Hogg saying: “He’s just a winner. He’s just so competitive. Even in little games in training where he just wants to win. It’s just infectious, especially when you’re playing with him. You can feel his passion, sometimes that boils over.

“He’s shouted at me a fair few times, especially as a young lad. He’s not being out of order, that’s just him wanting to win. He’s a quality player. I’ve wished him best on his move, obviously gutted to see him leave.”

Hastings gave insight into both his experience of wearing a scrum cap and his relationship with Hogg. (Photo: David Ronney)

The battle of 10

Hastings started at fly half in the defeat to Wales, in Cardiff, and played in this position again for the final 10 minutes in the win against Fiji – a game in which he scored his first try at home at BT Murrayfield.

However, his introduction saw Finn Russell drift to 12 with the pair linking up for Hastings try and sparking the debate that the two could in fact start alongside one another instead of battling for the same position.

Hastings spoke of the try and his relationship with Russell as he said: “I don’t score a lot of tries. Usually when I do score it’s right at the line, you’re not kind of able to enjoy it. It was just a really nice moment, my family were up in the stands watching.

“I think every good 12 is a very good talker and obviously Finn plays 10 so if he moved out to 12 he will talk a lot. It helps you at times, gives you more time. Yeah I don’t see why it couldn’t work.”

Scotland will be looking for their first win against South Africa in almost eight years as the sides meet this Saturday in Edinburgh, with all the action kicking off at 17:20 at BT Murrayfield.

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