Hastings vows he will return

Watsonians 33 Edinburgh Academicals 6
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The Independent Online
Gavin Hastings, 34, who yesterday crossed the Atlantic to begin a career as an American Football goal-kicker, pledged to return to club rugby next season after helping Watsonians to a decisive win on Saturday in their 119-year-old series of meetings with Edinburgh Academicals and a place in the last 16 of the Tennents 1556 Scottish cup.

Hastings said afterwards: "This is not the end of my rugby with Watsonians. I will return next season. American Football is a challenge and I have always accepted challenges."

Watsonians' link with the Scottish captaincy is extended by the acquisition of Rob Wainwright who was unable to make a scheduled debut against Academicals because of injuries received in the Calcutta Cup match. He is also doubtful for this weekend's Cup trip to play Stewartry in Castle Douglas.

In the uproar over the citing of Jason Leonard, the welfare of Wainwright was overlooked until a retired Edinburgh GP, Clifford Lutton, entered the controversy claiming: "An amateur boxer is off his feet for five seconds and the contest is stopped; Wainwright was down for around two minutes and allowed to carry on."

When a rugby player is suspected of having a head injury it is important he is allowed to rise on his own and not be lifted up the way Wainwright was. "Diagnosis can be helped by whether or not the players falls down after rising."

For Academicals, relegated and now out of the Cup, the fall has been spectacular. They are hoping for some help in the form of an investor similar to the type Boroughmuir could be set to announce. Their members meet on Thursday to discuss an offer from a businessman, Jim Glass, who previously tried to buy Hearts FC, and now wants a controlling interest in a rugby club.

Watsonians: Tries Henderson 2, Garry, Weston; Conversions Hodge 2; Penalties Hodge 3. Edinburgh Academicals: Penalties Barber 2.

Watsonians: G Hastings; F Henderson (capt), S Hastings, A Garry, J Kerr; D Hodge, J Weston; T Smith, G McKelvie, J Waddell, C Mather, S Grimes, G Hannah, C Brown, I Sinclair.

Edinburgh Academicals: S Burns; R Porter, R Barber, C Murray, G McKinlay; M Duncan, P Simpson; J Fayers, K Day, B Stewart, J Richardson, S Murray, D McIvor (capt), M McVie, R Hoole.

Referee: E Murray (Greenock Wands).

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