THE LOSING bonus point was a consolation of sorts for Glasgow from their 10-7 defeat by Edinburgh on Saturday, but there was a more lasting and significant source of solace in the return of Richie Gray. 

A long period sidelined by concussion has restricted the 31-year-old to just a handful of outings since he rejoined the Warriors in the summer. Now, though, after playing for all but five minutes of the Murrayfield match, he is set to make a significant contribution over the rest of the season - starting on Friday with the derby rematch at Scotstoun.

“I felt good,” Gray said. “Hopefully I can stay fit and get a bit of consistency.

 “I was getting asked at 60 minutes if I wanted to keep going, but I felt good. Maybe that says something about the game, because it was more attritional than quick. But I'm thankful for that and we'll see what happens next week.

“We certainly got stuck in,” he continued when asked about the match. “The most pleasing thing, and disappointing thing, was that we were in a position to win the game. In the second half we made quite a few visits to their 22 and their third, but our errors cost us. 

“What's disappointing is that in the past when we've lost these games we got physically beaten up and then it would be back to the drawing board. It will be a pretty tough and physical week. But I don't think it was like that today. I thought that we matched them physically. It was just execution but really cost us and that's disappointing, but something we can fix.”

Since agreeing to return from Toulouse to Glasgow a year ago, Gray has insisted several times that he remains eager to play for Scotland again, and having been recalled by Gregor Townsend for the initial Autumn Nations Cup squad, he could well come into the coach’s thinking for the Six Nations. He insisted, however, that for the time being at least he had to focus on the competition for a second-row place at Glasgow, and was not thinking about Scotland at all.

“No, I'm just looking to stay fit. I've got a battle on my hands at Glasgow where we've got Scotty [Cummings], Lewis Bean, Rob Harley and Leone [Nakarawa] coming back, and youngsters as well. It’s a fight every week. Let's be realistic, get a run in and see what happens.”