Scott Hastings: ‘Scotland display against Australia will have caught eye of Lions coach Warren Gatland’

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SCOTT Hastings believes Scotland’s stirring weekend performance will have caught the eye of British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland, despite another agonising defeat to Australia.

The Scots led from the second minute at Murrayfield on Saturday but, just like in the heartbreaking World Cup quarter-final loss to the Wallabies last year, had victory snatched away from them in the closing stages.

A 23-22 reverse does not tell the whole story of a largely impressive display from the Scots, however, with head coach Vern Cotter insisting afterwards “I wouldn’t necessarily say the best team won”.

(Pic: Twitter @ScottHastings13)
(Pic: Twitter @ScottHastings13)

Hastings, who won the Grand Slam with Scotland and brother Gavin in 1990, was particularly taken by the impact made by Huw Jones, who scored two tries on his first international start.

But the 51-year-old believes others will also have pressed their case for a place in the Lions touring party for New Zealand next year.

The 65-times capped centre said: “It was heartache for the Scots. Everybody knows and sees the improvement under Vern Cotter as coach and it was a very committed performance.

“Huw Jones caught the eye in midfield and again up front the Gray brothers (Richie and Jonny) were outstanding.

“It was great to see Scotland with a committed performance but, ultimately, they failed to close out the game.”

In an interview given to British and Irish Lions sponsors Standard Life Investments, Hastings added: “They’ll want to focus on that as they go forward.

“But a few of the Scots have maybe put their hands up in Warren Gatland’s eyes for selection.”

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