THE Glasgow provincial selectors have turned their backs on the plan of only picking players who play their club rugby in the area and are now to select players from a much wider catchment.

Watsonians' Jamie Weston and Ian Sinclair are now invited to take part in the Glasgow squad's preparations, as is Melrose's Derek Stark. And to think that Fergus Wallace moved back to GHK as well.

But of more interest is the fact that the New Zealand and South African stars who play in Glasgow will, if they qualify to play for Scotland, be invited to try to get into the Glasgow team.

That means players who have arrived here under a grandparental visa, like Waikato backs Andrew Strawbridge and Glen Metcalfe, as well as Tranvaal's wing forward Lee Stewart who was born in Scotland, can now play for Glasgow. And there will be others.

``We were told by the SRU that the qualification for Europe this season was to be the same as last year, and so those who played last year would be included anyway,'' I was told by Glasgow's Ken Crichton on Saturday. ``But we have to have the best players available because of the level of competition.''

If players qualify for Scotland they can be picked for Glasgow.

Which all shows, no doubt, that the advent of real provincial rugby - and remember Glasgow are to play, among other teams, French giants Agen in the European conference - has forced a drastic rethink in provincial rugby circles.

The original argument for forcing Glasgow players to play for a city club if they wanted to play for the province was that Glasgow club rugby would wither and die if that did not happen. That seems to have slipped out of memory, or perhaps the powers that be see a regeneration of Glasgow rugby. Glasgow players were jumping out the city to join Edinburgh clubs.

Brian Simmers, from my club Accies, was always a strong advocate of that course, even disagreeing with his son, Chris, at the time. Chris Simmers played for Glasgow while in the Edinburgh Accies midfield.

At the start of this season the message that came out of the Glasgow camp was that they would now only pick Glasgow club players. Stirling County, well no one really knows if they are in with the ``Caledonian Reds'' or out. No wonder our own Kenny Logan whispered to me a few weeks ago: ``Call Jamie Weston and the others and find out how upset they are at not being able to play for Glasgow if they are playing club rugby in Edinburgh.''

Clubs will have to face the fact that provincial rugby is going to make itself as strong as possible. Two New Zealanders are coaching Glasgow in Gordon MacPherson and Kevin Greene. Two blokes that beat the British Lions. And up to a third of the side could be from ``overseas.''

Mind you, while I was researching some facts on overseas players one thing came through loud and clear this week and that is that if a Scottish player goes overseas and he is good enough then he will play for the local province. Look at Shade Munro at Bay of Plenty, and look back to Alan Watt at Wairarapa Bush. And say that after a few lagers. It's only us, and me in particular, who complain about them coming here.

Is picking from a big pool the right way ahead for the city? Well, I've got to say after years of carping on about the lack of effort and skill in Glasgow, and the lack of talent, and the lack of a will to win, I am starting to see things take shape. Despite yesterday's embarrassing, thumping Stirling will come good in the second half of the season. And, despite all of the big action in Glasgow being concentrated in the second division with West, GHK and Accies all going for promotion, with Biggar in there as well, it is going to be some second division and we will see some fur fly for sure.