SCOTT HASTINGS believes Scotland's three-Test summer tour has been devalued by the Australian Super 15 sides banning their players from facing Andy Robinson's men.
However, he admits it could give the Scots the chance to kick off their trip with a win.
Scotland face Australia on Tuesday, June 5, followed by Fiji on Saturday, June 16, and Samoa a week later.
However, the Australian Super 15 franchises have placed an embargo on their stars playing in the midweek Test against the Scots, ahead of their encounter with Grand Slam-winning Wales the following Saturday.
Former Scotland and British Lions centre Hastings said: "You learn so much from Southern Hemisphere tours both as a player and in respect of what Andy Robinson will learn about the guys who make the trip down under.
"But there is the opportunity in the first Test with Australia to get off to a winning start and establish momentum.
"I understand why the Super 15 sides have put an embargo on their players playing against Scotland.
"The Test is on a Tuesday night and is reflective of our position in the international game now and the fact the Aussies are saving themselves for their Test against Wales the following weekend.
"But that may work for us. We saw over the Six Nations how we made a bright start to the campaign but failed to get a win and by the end our confidence and form had drained away.
"If we can take advantage of a weakened Australia selection that would give us the perfect platform into the Tests with Fiji and Samoa.
"Given the conditions we are likely to face and the determination of the Pacific Islanders to take our scalp they will be brutal encounters.
"I don't think you can call this a make or break tour for Andy Robinson but we need to take some positivity from it."
Meanwhile, it has been announced Scotland will play three Southern Hemisphere teams in November. The EMC Tests, which will all be screened live by the BBC as part of a new two-year deal, will see them face New Zealand and South Africa at Murrayfield followed by Tonga, with the refurbished Scotstoun Stadium a possible venue for that match.
The game against the globe's No.1-ranked team, Rugby World Cup winners the All Blacks, will be on Sunday, November 11.
That will be followed by a match against the Springboks on Saturday, November 17.
Both encounters will have 2.30pm kick-offs. The Tonga match will be the following Saturday.