GRAND Slam winner Scott Hastings has backed the Six Nations’ decision to introduce a bonus points system for next year’s tournament.
The former Scotland centre believes the initiative – which rewards teams scoring four or more tries and for winning by more than, or losing by less than, seven points – will increase excitement.
Organisers have also switched from two to four points for a win and to two points for a draw.
The move brings the Six Nations into line with the likes of the Rugby World Cup, Pro 12 and the English Premiership, and Scotland will be the first to try it out when they host Ireland on February 4.
Hastings, the 65-times capped former Scotland and British and Irish Lions centre, has welcomed the new revamped system and is convinced it will encourage more attacking play.
He said: “It’s a tremendous benefit for the game because, at times, the way the Six Nations is it can stagnate as teams protect rather than go for a win.
“This is a positive step in the right direction, which I’m sure will encourage teams to play more attacking rugby.
“My big thing about sport is you don’t play to draw, you play to win.
“And, for me, this will encourage winning habits and sometimes as sports people we take our eye off that.”
He added to BBC Scotland: “If you are going for that extra bonus point in the last play of the game – whether it be a losing bonus point or a winning bonus point – surely that is not only good for players, but also for spectators and for television audiences because it makes it hugely exiting.”