Andrew Gavin Hastings,OBE (born 3 January 1962) is a former Scotlandrugby union player. He is frequently considered to be one of the best rugby players to come out of Scotland. His nickname is "Big Gav".
"Gavin is a big man in every sense of the word... his greatest asset was to engender confidence in those around him and to lead by example when the opposition had to be taken on. In New Zealand, they considered him simply the best full-back in the world."
"Caps do not make the man, but a quick look at Gavin Hastings' battle honours should be more than enough to establish his credentials as the finest player ever to wear the dark blue of Scotland.
"For the record though, here is an abridged version of one of the most impressive curriculum vitae in British rugby; Hastings captained the first Scottish schoolboys' side to win on English soil; he captained the victorious 1985 Cambridge University side; he won the Gallaher Shield with Auckland University during his sabbatical year; he was a central figure in Scotland's 1990 Grand Slam... he captained Scotland in one World Cup, and played in two others, including a semi-final; he captained his country and scored the winning try when Scotland registered their first win at the Parc des Princes... he played for the World XV in the New Zealand Centenary Celebrations; and he holds the British points-scoring record with 733 points in tests for Scotland and the Lions."
As a schoolboy Hastings became the first player to captain a Scottish schoolboys side to win in England. In 1985, he captained Cambridge University to victory in the Varsity Match. His younger brother Scott was also a professional Rugby Union player.
Richard Bath says of Hastings' playing style that he was:
"Solid under the high ball, an outstanding goal-kicker and with a siege-gun boot that would almost inevitably find touch, Hastings was defensively strong, and came into the line with an impact which perhaps owed more to his stocky frame than great pace, but which was still extremely effective and served any team he played for in any conditions.
"A gritty player whose solidity reassured players in front of him and whose huge boot sapped opposition confidence, Gavin Hastings was also a player of immense spirit who invariably led the rearguard action, or initiated the fightback."
Note 1: Robert Seddon died on tour after a boating accident, Andrew Stoddart, became captain for the remainder of the tour. Note 2: Matthew Mullineux decided that after losing the first test that he should withdraw from further test matches, handing on field captaincy to Frank Stout, but remained tour captain. Note 3: David Bedell-Sivright was injured during the first test. Teddy Morgan took over captaincy on the field but Bedell-Sivright remained tour captain. Note 4: The team that John Raphael captained was not selected by the four Home Nations governing body, but had been organised by Oxford University and billed as the English Rugby Union team. However, it was denoted as the Combined British team by its Argentine hosts because it also included three Scots. Note 5: Jack Jones captained the first test only, but Tommy Smyth remained the tour captain. Note 6: Michael Owen captained the Lions in the first tour game, the test vs. Argentina in Cardiff. Brian O'Driscoll was injured at the beginning of the first test. Martin Corry and Gareth Thomas took over captaincy on the field but O'Driscoll remained tour captain.