There is a big role that needs filing. And, no, we are not talking about stepping into the shoes vacated by Meghan and Harry.

Greig Laidlaw’s retirement from the international scene at the end of 2019 has left a sizeable void in the Scotland ranks and his regal displays will take some emulating.

There are a few heirs to the throne, of course.

“With Greig stepping down the No.9 shirt is open, but it could be one of a number of players,” said George Horne, the Glasgow Warriors scrum-half.

Horne served a good apprenticeship under Laidlaw’s canny, experienced leadership. While the 24-year-old Dundonian is an altogether different type of player to Laidlaw, his rugby education has certainly been widened by the teachings of the former Scotland captain.

“Because we’re so different I could learn from his strengths,” Horne said. “First of all, it was his game management because he is very experienced and he drives a team around the park. He is an excellent leader and that’s not just as a captain, but as a scrum-half as well. That comes from managing the game territory-wise and controlling the tempo. Picking up little bits and pieces of knowledge from him has certainly helped me.”

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Horne will need to draw on all that acquired nous when Exeter Chiefs come to Scotstoun this weekend for a Heineken Champions Cup encounter that is being billed as a “must win” for the Warriors.

Trying to break down the mighty, unyielding Exeter defence is a fearsome task akin to attempting to obliterate the walls of the Kremlin with a baby’s rattle. Saracens, the three-time European champions, came a cropper against this immovable object just before the New Year as Exeter suffocated their rivals like a boa constrictor squeezing the life out of a warthog.

The fact that Glasgow really need to win and run in at least four tries to plunder a bonus point makes the challenge all the more daunting.

Horne notched a brace of tries in the Warriors’ win over Benetton Treviso in Italy last weekend and more of the same against Exeter would be gratefully received.

“We are going out to win the game first and foremost,” he added. “We need to start well and build pressure. We don’t need to go chasing tries straight away with loose passes. It will be holding on to the ball that will do the damage. In the back of our minds we know we probably need to get five points to have any chance of qualifying, but first of all we want to win the game.

“Patience is massive especially against the defence like Exeter’s. They defend really well so it is probably unstructured play where the tries are going to come from. Holding on to the ball is key, trying to narrow them up and scoring out wide.

“It’s about playing in the right areas. They do like to kick the ball and play a territory-based game. They’ve got a massive forward pack that will try to dominate up front, but we just need to play in the right areas and hold the ball for long periods of time and build pressure.

“We always pride ourselves on our defence. Defence wins you games. It will be a massive focus going in, trying to stop their forward pack especially at the set-piece. If we can do that it will give us a good chance of coming out on top.”

Glasgow lost the away fixture in Devon 34-18 in November. Since that reversal, the influential Jonny Gray has agreed a deal to move from the Warriors to Exeter at the end of the season.

Ahead of tomorrow’s tussle, Horne is adamant Gray will show his future employers no mercy.

“Jonny has been at this club for years and he leads by example,” said Horne. “I don’t think anything will have changed in his mindset. He is going to give us everything.

“It is big games like these when you are under pressure that are tests. Getting another crack at Exeter is going to be good fun and hopefully we can show we have learned from that defeat and put in a better performance.”