Rugby Union: Twickenham Focus I: Scott shines in shadows: The Hastings clan provides Scotland's Calcutta Cup team today with their central thrust. Guy Hodgson reports

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THE other Hastings. It is a description that has latched on to Scott Hastings like a leech. A world-class centre, a man credited by Australia's coach, Bob Dwyer, as a - if not the - main ingredient in a successful Lions rugby union tour, and who gets the attention? His brother.

Through no fault of Gavin. He does not seek the spotlight, it follows him around.

As Scotland captain and goal- kicker the focus is on him to the near exclusion of his sibling rival. Against France this season the question was why Gavin had missed five kicks at goal, against Wales it was why he succeeded. Now, against England at Twickenham today, Hastings Snr will be compared to Will Carling as a prospective leader of the Lions this summer.

It is a wonder Scott does not froth ever so slightly at the mouth at the mention of Gavin but, to the contrary, he says he is wholly comfortable with the situation, words endorsed by their playing for the same club, Watsonians.

'We've a very good relationship,' he insists. 'We're brothers and very close, but we're more like friends than relatives. There's no problem at all. I regard him as a team-mate, simple as that.'

It is a theme echoed by Gavin. But does he not get concerned when his younger brother goes under a herd of opposition forwards? He laughed. 'I think 'Get the damn out of there, you silly bugger.' Same as I would anyone else.'

Scott continued: 'Sure, there were fights and that when we were younger but nothing you wouldn't expect between children. If anyone should have a problem it's Ewan, the youngest brother. The reason why Gavin's a good goal- kicker now is that he used to practice using Ewan as a ball.' Ewan, it should be added, survived the experience to play on the wing for Watsonians.

Scott, friends agree, is the extrovert of the family. It was he who had go- faster stripes cut into his hair during the last World Cup and it is the younger Hastings, now 28, who has occasionally fallen foul of the Scottish RFU, most notably for going without permission to a sevens tournament in Dubai. Even so, he has 45 caps, one more than Gavin, and will almost certainly be included for his second Lions tour when the party is announced later this month. 'My wife has tamed me, quietened me down a bit,' he said.

Scott made his international debut on the same day as his brother, against France in 1986, and in the seven years since has developed into a direct, powerful outside centre. Of a similar build to Gavin, he has the sort of physique that makes his possession of a crash ball an inducement for opponents to extend their personal injury insurance. It is his tackling that makes him outstanding, however. The Scots are renowned for the blue wall across their try line and no one is more responsible for that reputation than Scott.

'He is one of the great defenders in international rugby,' Dwyer wrote in his book The Winning Way. 'I'm not suggesting he is a bone-crushing tackler, but he is capable of reading attacks and knowing what has to be done and where to do it . . . Without him I don't think the British Lions would have beaten Australia in 1989.'

His coach at Watsonians, Paul Hogarth, concurs. 'His defence is immense,' he said. 'He will put in tackle after tackle. Nobody seems to get through him. He's proved that at every level. He works very hard at his game, no one is more dedicated to training and you see the result on the field.

'He doesn't get the publicity that Gavin gets but he's a players' player, the sort that does things that get unnoticed unless you are beside him. He's always ready to help other players both on the field and off it. He passes on his expertise.'

Hastings' tackling prowess today will be tested by two centres, Carling and Jeremy Guscott, whose reputation as the finest centre combination in the northern hemisphere has not faced up to scrutiny so far this season.

'England did not play well against Wales,' Hastings argued, 'but even so there was so much going on in midfield. There were dummy runs, dummy passes, crash balls. The art of tackling is about reading the plays and England are more difficult to read than most.

'Guscott is very talented, a confidence player. He does the unexpected which makes him very difficult to mark. In the Grand Slam match I made the mistake of allowing Carling to get outside me and suddenly Guscott had the opening to score.'

The Grand Slam in question was Scotland's in 1990 which was completed, despite Guscott's try, against England at Murrayfield. He did not mention it but Hastings is credited with the match- winning tackle against Rory Underwood.

'The England match is going to be very, very hard. You only have to look at the line-out. Scotland have got a lot of praise for that department this season but our players will be staring up at giants like Wade Dooley and Martin Bayfield. Dooley did not have a good game against Wales but he is far too good a player to perform like that again. You could say the same about the whole England team.'

Which will mean much will depend on Scott and, of course, his commanding, but contrastingly quiet, brother. 'Don't you believe a word of it,' Hastings younger said. 'Gavin's got his wild side like everyone has. He'll be celebrating just as hard as anyone if we win.'

And the experience of being captained by Gavin? 'He's been OK, I suppose, in fact he's made a surprisingly reasonable job of it so far.' Which in Scott-speak means that he has done a very fine job indeed.

The other Hastings seems happy with his role.

(Photograph omitted)

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