Stand-off Duncan Weir looked to be constructing a promising international career, with starts against Wales and France last season, and was poised to be part of the Scotland squad for the quadrangular tournament in South Africa. But a serious injury put a blip in 22-year-old Weir's progressional curve.
Playing against the Ospreys in the final home match of last season, he sustained a fracture to his right fibula, necessitating an operation and extensive rehabilitation over the summer. It meant he did not go on tour in June but, given the damage suffered by so many of the Scotland squad in the tournament, that may not have been so bad after all - even if that was not his thoughts at the time.
"It was frustrating missing the Scotland tour. My focus now is on returning to the Warriors squad and playing for Glasgow during the November tests, when I assume that Jacko [Ruairidh Jackson] will be in the Scotland squad," Weir said after playing for Stirling County against Hawick at Mansfield Park in the RBS Premiership on Saturday.
It was his second match for Stirling - the Warriors' stand-off having played 60 minutes for the Bridgehaugh side a week earlier in a 23-20 win against his former amateur club, Glasgow Hawks.
Against Hawick, Weir played 70 minutes - 10 short of what was intended and only because he was unfortunate enough to pay the price for an accumulation of team penalties by Stirling. But he was nevertheless grateful to be having game-time at whatever level.
"It's great having the opportunity to play for Stirling. The pace of the game is not as fast as pro rugby and the longer grass on the pitch slows things as well, but it's still very physical," said Weir, adding : "It was made easier for me by playing alongside such an experienced scrum-half as AJ McFarlane."
What was not so helpful was the quality and speed of ball delivered by the Stirling forwards, who came up against a Hawick pack determined to slog it out for victory. But when Weir had ball in hand there was authority in his decision-making, skill with the height he achieved from punted ball and with the width and speed of his passing.
Twice Weir set up chances for his outside backs with wide ball only for County's pace men to butcher these opportunities with inaccurate finishing. On a third occasion Weir again used the long pass to stretch the Hawick defence, but this time the ball was dropped allowing Lee Armstrong to hack upfield and home winger Steve Anderson to apply the finishing touch for the only try of the match.
For their part Hawick included Nikki Walker in their side but the Scotland cap, playing out of position at centre, saw little action in a game that might safely be described as attritional rather than artistic.
Walker, recovering from a shoulder injury, was happy to have survived his first taste of action. And he added: "I felt very proud returning to Mansfield Park, where I played for Hawick 10 years ago."
Hawick's other points came from the boot of Neil Renwick, who kicked a conversion and four penalties.