Scott Hastings wants Scotland's Stuart Hogg to move from fullback to fly-half
Last Updated: 29/01/14 4:49pm
Hogg: would be better utilised at fly-half, says Hastings
Stuart Hogg, who missed Scotland's November Tests due to injury, will play fullback in Scotland's Six Nations clash with Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.
However, Scott Hastings, who won 64 caps for Scotland, says the visitors could really build something special around Hogg at fly-half - and implored national team interim boss Scott Johnson to reconsider how he uses the Glasgow Warriors 21-year-old.
"I have said all along that Hogg, who has been selected at fullback, should really start at fly-half," Hastings told skysports.com
"That would bring the consistency that they so desperately need and give them something to really build on. My feeling is that Hogg is the man you want at the helm heading into a World Cup in 2015.
"He has a great distribution game and likes to play right up, flat on the line where he attacks the gain-line.
"I really think Scotland have missed that sort of fly-half and would love Scott Johnson to put his faith in him.
"He could be backed up by Ruaridh Jackson and Duncan Weir, but I think Hogg is the man you want running things."
"He has a great distribution game and likes to play right up, flat on the line where he attacks the gain-line."
Another area of concern for Scotland is the scrum, says Hastings.
The former outside centre reckons the front row and No.7 jersey need to be addressed.
"Rory Grant has put in some stirling performances for Edinburgh over the last few months and is really an out and out openside flanker," said Hastings.
"Having a genuine openside is really important from Scotland's perspective and Rory must feel really unlucky not to be involved.
"Scotland are really lacking some depth in the front row, too. Ross Ford has improved in the last few weeks and there is a real determination to his game. If he can nail his lineout then that would be a huge plus for Scotland.
"But this is one area where I think Scotland can really build a platform and Tim Swinson will have to get to grips with test match rugby pretty quickly.
"Scotland are missing some experience with the injury to Al Kellock but Jim Hamilton is a very good lineout jumper and Richie Gray is on the bench."
Hastings is doubtful that Scotland can repeat their third place finish of last year and is more concerned about the consistency of their game than getting results.
However, with England and France at home, Hastings is confident that they can claim a major scalp at some point in the tournament.
"I felt that Scotland's third place finish last year slightly flattered them but hopefully it gives them confidence ahead of this year's campaign.
"It was a mixed bag for Scotland in their autumn internationals and out on tour in New Zealand, so, heading into this campaign, I want to see some consistency from them.
"I am interested to see if under Scott Johnson there will be improvement in Scotland's style of rugby - for me that will be crucial.
"Every week in the Six Nations it is hard but having England and France at Murrayfield is a plus for Scotland's hopes. Ireland and Wales are also potentially good scalps to take and while Italy will think Scotland are a scalp themselves, I think Scotland will be up for that challenge.
"For this to be a successful campaign for Scotland I think they need at least two wins minimum and to get one on the road, but we want to see Scotland mature, it would be great to see them performing.
"I want them to stick to their game plan, understand their attack structure and to gain confidence from the way they are playing. Passion has always been one of Scotland's main attributes and the players really respond to that."