THE cross-country move to Edinburgh has often been a downwards career shift for players leaving Glasgow, but early indications are that Henry Pyrgos is well placed to buck the trend. Kevin and Glenn Bryce never appeared to settle in the capital; Duncan Weir could not lay claim to the No 10 jersey for any length of time; and Mark Bennett, while expected to be first-choice outside-centre, has been dogged by injury.

Pyrgos, by contrast, is fit and playing well, and has not only established himself as head coach Richard Cockerill’s preferred starting scrum-half, but has also forged an immediate understanding with stand-off Simon Hickey, another new arrival this summer.

Had he stayed at Glasgow, the 29-year-old would have been behind Ali Price and George Horne in the pecking order. His starts would have been limited, and so, as a consequence, would his chances of getting into the Scotland squad for next year’s Rugby World Cup. With Greig Laidlaw and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne also coming into the equation, Pyrgos still faces a fierce fight to get on the plane to Japan; but at least he is now getting a chance to put his case to national coach Gregor Townsend.

“Yeah, that was the reason,” he said when asked if the prospect of regular rugby was behind the move. “I mean there was an option to come to Edinburgh, I wasn’t playing as much as I’d have liked, I really enjoyed my time at Glasgow but that was the decision I made and I’ve just got on with it, enjoyed it.

“It was quite a quick transition, but when I got here the players and coaches have just been really welcoming. It’s been a really easy environment to come into.

“Coming from Glasgow you get a bit of banter and stick from the boys and stuff, but once you get down to it it’s the same sort of stuff. I try to just get my head down and work hard. It’s a really hard-working group of players and coaches here, and it’s easy just to get on with that, really, and focus on games each week.

“Pre-season is not that much fun, but you get stuck in. You can see that this squad is really trying to build and keep pushing on week on week. Yeah, it’s been easy to get stuck in with.”

It has been all the easier thanks to Hickey, the former New Zealand Under-20s captain. Pyrgos may be five years older than his team-mate, but he has quickly found out that the No 10 has a rugby wisdom beyond his years.

“Simon’s what?, only 24, but he acts about 32. He’s a really mature guy, he’s got loads of knowledge about the game, and he knows exactly how he wants to play and how he wants the team to play. I feel like I’m quite experienced and I’ve played quite a lot of rugby, but I really respect his knowledge of the game and I’m learning stuff off him, which is really good.”

Cockerill will announce his team for tomorrow night’s PRO14 match against the Cheetahs at lunchtime today. Attention then turns to the Heineken Champions Cup, and a trip to French giants Montpellier in the first round of the pool stages.