RUGBY players reinventing ­themselves is nothing new. Many have swapped places to either prolong or rejuvenate their careers. Some have shifted from stand-off or wing to centre and, in the most extreme cases, from anywhere on the pitch to hooker.

Thankfully, Adam Ashe has simply shuffled around the corner to kickstart his stay at Glasgow Warriors.

Against Scarlets, then Lyon in France, Ashe was a viable candidate for man-of-the-match honours. But the former Scotland man, who hasn’t played at that level since 2015, is quite happy just to be recognised by Warriors coach Dave Rennie as a man who will do what it takes for the cause – and to get a game.

“Yeah, pretty pleased,” Ashe admitted. “Two 80 minutes … managed to get through some good work in both games. I guess I’ve had quite a few starts over the past five or six

weeks, which is nice to build some consistency.

“The body’s feeling good and I’ve been really pleased with how we’ve shown up over the last five or six games. Obviously the team has played particularly well and I think that helps the individual.”

And there are more important matches ahead as Warriors enter the festive period with a double-header against city rivals Edinburgh – games Ashe wants to be part of. But what has it taken to get him back in the mix?

Try the coach selecting you and that move around the corner on the scrum, from 8 to 6.

“It’s nice to get backed by the coach and get regular game time. Dave’s someone who encourages us to go out there and express ourselves, and play our own game. It’s nice to be able to do that and for that to rub off a little bit,” says Adam, who is enjoying his new role.

“I’ve probably not played 6 for two or three years until this season so it maybe took a little time to find my feet in that position. It’s quite different to playing 8.

“There’s less opportunity to carry ball, you find yourself getting involved in the tight stuff a lot more, your lineout maul and lineout defence. I always find when I’m playing 6, I’m hitting more rucks whereas at 8 I’m getting more carries.

“But you’re always going to be happy if you’re getting played and as the season’s gone on I’ve played five or six games at 6 now, I’m starting to get used to it.

“I feel I’m slowly merging the 6 and 8 roles together and getting myself more into positions I’d get into when I’m playing 8 when I’m at 6. I’m formulating a game that can suit both positions.”

It’s evidently working. Ashe went into yesterday’s European tie against Lyon tied as Glasgow’s top try scorer this term with Niko Matawalu, both on five apiece.

While he may not have travelled the distance Niko has for his scores, Ashe’s favourite range being a few metres out, he must also be within touching distance of a recall to the Scotland training set-up at the very least.

While focused on playing week in, week out for Warriors, a recall to serve Scotland would be welcomed by the six-times capped breakaway. And that could be accelerated by producing the goods in the 1872 Cup clashes with Edinburgh.

“It’s always a hard, physical game and obviously these games come around just before selection for the Six Nations so there’s no doubt about it, people who play well in these games are more likely to get selected.

“But just like you do in any game, you go out there and you’re always trying to outperform your opposition. As a player you don’t make that your focus. You’re very much out there playing the game as it unfolds in front of you. You might get the opportunity to better your opposite man but it’s definitely not something you’re thinking about for days in advance.”

One man surveying the demands of back-to-back Inter-City fixtures is Edinburgh’s Hamish Watson, especially with these ties bookending Christmas, which creates a unique set of circumstances for the modern player.

“I think it’s quite tough over Christmas,” said Watson. “Because we’ll be training Christmas Eve, then Boxing Day afternoon. So you can’t really switch off. That’s makes it a slightly different mental challenge for all the boys and we are used to it. If you have any kind of job in professional sport then that’s what happens, that you don’t get a full Christmas break. But the boys are used to it now.”

For Watson, the festive period will be his first as a father and it is something he is looking forward too.

“Yes, I’m really excited. We are going back to Manchester on Christmas Eve night then spend the day at home. Being there at Christmas is really important … seeing the family, and, spending it with Honor – who is only 14 weeks – and Lucy.”

In amongst the personal tales surrounding this historic fixture, there is the small matter of the spoils.

There is no longer just one inter-city gathering, or two, but three over the course of what is a long season. And therein lies a real quandary – what matters most? League points or some silverware?

Watson isn’t wrong with his observation, that “if you get the league points then the 1872 Cup will take care of itself”.

However, these games are also an opportunity to put a marker down, individually and as a team. And, in the end, bragging rights will be savoured every bit as much as any bonus points and a trophy. This is a rivalry that goes nearly 150 years.

Watson is keen to do well, but reflected that a change of fortune, and of form, will be required if Edinburgh want to get the upper hand, starting at Murrayfield on Saturday evening.

“Obviously we’ve been struggling a bit in the league away from home so we have to go to Glasgow and put in a really strong performance. But at home we are unbeaten this season so it is a bit of both; we are looking to win the 1872 Cup, but we are looking for the league points as well.”