SCOTLAND legend Gavin Hastings has questioned the decision to remove head coach Vern Cotter so early in his tenure.
Cotter will leave next summer to be replaced by Gregor Townsend and Hastings has backed his former international team-mate to prove a success when he takes over the post.
However, the Grand Slam hero of 1990 has confessed he was taken aback when the change was announced by the SRU in August.
Cotter is widely regarded as having been a success as Scotland boss since arriving in 2014, leading the side to within touching distance of the World Cup semi-finals last year and scoring Six Nations victories over France and Italy this year.
Saturday’s agonising 23-22 loss to Australia highlighted further positives.
In the build-up to the weekend, the Kiwi – who is to return to French club rugby with Montpellier – expressed disappointment that he would not be allowed time to achieve his ‘objectives’ and Hastings reckons he is leaving ‘too early’.
The former British and Irish Lions full-back said: “It does seem early, I must admit.
“When the decision came out that he was not going to get his contract extended I wasn’t the only Scot who was surprised.
“Gregor has done a terrific job for Glasgow and I’m sure he’ll come in to the team and do very, very well.
“But there is a feeling that, perhaps, he [Cotter] is going a couple of years too early – but that decision has been taken.”
Talking to BBC 5 Live, Hastings added: “Certainly I think the players will be very, very keen to try to get some further success whilst Vern is still in charge of the team.”