In this crash, bang, wallop game, aches, pains, batters and bruises are par for the course.

“You can see what my nose is like, it’s on the other side of my face,” said Petrus du Plessis as he pointed to a broken, higgledy-piggledy snout that resembles the bent bit of a nasal helmet that’s been buckled on a medieval battlefield.

“There’s no point in fixing it. Doctors don’t want to touch it until I’ve finished playing. So we’ll see when that is.”

He may have a few more miles to go on the clock yet. Du Plessis hadn’t played for about a year but the Glasgow Warriors scrum coach was thrust into action in Italy last weekend in a 30-odd minute cameo which helped Dave Rennie’s side to an impressive victory against Treviso.

It was a profitable, purposeful if somewhat painful half hour for du Plessis as he ended up with that broken beak that now makes him look like the Sphinx of Giza.

Despite landing a sore one, du Plessis relished the opportunity to step up to the plate and aid the Warriors’ cause.

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“It was a shock to the system but I really enjoyed it,” said the vastly experienced 38-year-old South African. “It was a case of me being on the bench and providing cover if we needed it.

“Then we got a yellow card and we thought maybe we should start putting new props on just in case there’s another yellow or it turns into a red.

“Five minutes after half-time, they thought it was a good time to do it. The first question was: ‘Do you have 35 minutes in you?’ I was like: ‘Yeah, let’s go’.”

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Glasgow certainly got going as the Warriors completed a 38-19 win in a display full of grit, guile and a ruthless, clinical edge. “We converted most of our line-breaks last week into tries,” noted du Plessis.

“Some of the youngsters like Bruce Flockhart and Tom Gordon played unbelievably well. When you look at the tackles, carries, metres they made, line-breaks they made – it was just phenomenal.”

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As for du Plessis trotting out on a regular basis? “I’ve just stepped in for one game and that’s probably where I’m at just now,” he added. “There is no date in terms of when I’ll finish playing but I do like to train with the boys and keep on going.

“So even if the Six Nations is on and we lose a couple of players to injury, then I have to be ready to play if I’m asked again.”

After a sombre defeat to Edinburgh in the 1872 Cup, and the news that Jonny Gray will be departing for pastures new, last weekend’s Italian job provided a timely tonic for the Warriors.

“A lot of people would have been thinking the writing was on the wall for us, but it wasn’t,” said du Plessis “We’re a good side. The guys who came into the team were outstanding. We will see that over the next couple of months with guys being away in the Six Nations.

“Other guys will come in and take their chances. Last year during the Six Nations we went unbeaten during that whole period and now we want to do it again.”

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Next up for the Warriors is an exacting Heineken Champions Cup game against an Exeter side fresh from a victory over Saracens in which the Devon side’s robust defensive qualities shone through.

“We won well last week, but this will be a different kettle of fish,” said du Plessis. “We know how good Exeter are and how well they’ve been doing in the Premiership. It will be a must-win game for us.

“Exeter have a good defence. The tenacity they show is always very good. We will have to be quite crafty in terms of how we break them down, but we have the players to do it.”

And what if du Plessis has to answer another emergency call? Well, he may end up dialling 999 himself if last weekend is anything to go by.

“I think I had to ring the fire brigade to come and scoop me out of bed last Sunday,” he joked with a wincing smile.