The Auld Alliance is alive and kicking it seems.

“We will be cheering for a lot of French clubs this weekend,” said the Glasgow Warriors coach Dave Rennie ahead of the final group games of the Heineken Champions Cup in which his side just about require a couple of snookers to squeeze into the quarter-finals.

Whether Rennie’s Warriors will still be alive and kicking when it all comes out in the wash remains to be seen.

Saracens, Gloucester and Northampton, Glasgow’s rivals for one of the best group runners-up spots, all face French opposition with the Warriors hoping at least two of those three English teams don’t win.

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The Warriors, of course, need to do their own job too and secure a bonus point win at Sale. If all this transpires then Glasgow wouldn’t just sneak in the back door, they would be squeezing and wheezing through the cat flap.

Helping them try to do this will be the Fijian, Leone Nakarawa, who will finally get the chance to begin his second coming in a Warriors shirt.

Having returned to Scotstoun this month after his contract with Racing 92 was terminated, Nakarawa has been working his way back up to match sharpness following a prolonged spell of inactivity after the World Cup.

The 31-year-old, whose original stint with the Warriors ended in 2016, will now be unleashed on Sale as flanker in this must-win-and-then-hope-for-a-few-favours tussle.

By all accounts, Nakarawa has been like a coiled spring waiting to go, well, boing, and Rennie had no hesitation in throwing him into his starting XV for today’s contest.

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“He has looked good,” said Rennie. “He has been very good at picking up instructions and stuff and he was close [to playing] last week. We will have an indication of where his lungs are at during the game.

“We are aware of what we need to do but we are not really talking about having to score four tries.

“We have just got to go out and apply pressure and let the scoreboard take care of itself. We know how tough it will be against Sale. They are a really good side and tough to beat at home. We expect them to go full throttle.

“Equally Leone brings us a point of difference and keeping the ball alive and taking on defenders will be important.

“No matter who you are playing with you need to have an understanding of their strengths. It is no good having someone like Leone who has great off-loading skills when nobody is looking for an off-load.

“We are well aware of that and we are not expecting him to perform like a champion first time out. We just want him to work hard and do his job and his natural ability will mean there should be a bit of ball coming out of his hands.”

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Nakawara, one of five changes made by Rennie from the side which battled to a thrilling 31-31- draw with the mighty Exeter last weekend, will be joined on the flanks by Tom Gordon, who earned his first call-up to the Scotland squad for the forthcoming Six Nations.

Rennie believes that selection is fully justified.

“He is an impressive athlete, very explosive and powerful with a good skill set,” he added. “He is a little bit different to our other sevens, he has worked really hard on the physical side of the game and has become a dominant tackler. We are rapt for him, he is a good man and he gives us another genuine ball-carrying option.”

While Gordon was celebrating the call from his country, his Warriors team-mate, Ryan Wilson, was left out of the Scotland squad.

“It is never easy for the guys who miss out but I think he saw the writing on the wall,” conceded Rennie.

“He has played I think 10 in a row and is probably playing the best footie I have seen in the time I have been here.

“He is disappointed but there are always going to be injuries and maybe opportunities for him.”