From everything I have ever read about her, I think the late Queen would have been the last person to have wanted her passing marked by the wholesale cancellation of sporting fixtures. Yet in the current mood sweeping the mass media and social media, the sporting authorities really had no choice but to postpone for fear of the utter opprobrium, or worse, that would have been directed their way.

I also really do understand that policing issues – officer shortages, actually - in London and elsewhere mean that some football matches in particular cannot proceed at present.

Nevertheless it sticks in the craw that sport, and normal life in general, has effectively been put on hold by the Queen’s death, and I write that as a great admirer of a wise woman whose words to the people of New York after 9/11 – ‘grief is the price we pay for having loved’ – so many people are now finding so true in relation to herself.

On Monday I will be watching her funeral service but afterwards I will go straight back to work as will the vast majority of people, and that’s the way it should be. Normal life on these islands isn’t going to be very good for a lot of people as winter approaches, and we will need sport to provide some relief in what I can only see as darker days ahead, certainly in economic terms.

Which is one reason why I am pleading on my arthritic knees for Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors to give us something to be happy about over the next few months. I would not be so daft as to suggest our two professional teams have a sacred duty to lead Scottish rugby into broad sunlit uplands, but prior to the Six Nations it would be a huge bolster to the rugby community’s collective morale to see both sides doing well in the United Rugby Championship.

It has to be said there are doubts about both Glasgow and Edinburgh as they prepare for the weekend’s opening fixtures against Benetton and Dragons respectively. The problem for Glasgow is that they will be flying out to Treviso – I was in its airport last week and can vouch for the duty free shop! – with a list of injuries that new coach Franco Smith simply did not need as he prepares for his first competitive match in charge which will take place on Friday evening against his old club.

He knows how he wants Glasgow to play and has certainly talked a good game in recent weeks, and while it would not be the starting XV he would chose, nevertheless Glasgow Warriors have sufficient strength in depth for this opening challenge.

I am not saying this is a ‘must win’ game as no opening match of an 18-round regular season ever is in that category, but a win, even a narrow one, would lay down a marker for Glasgow’s season, not least because Benetton showed against Edinburgh last Friday that they are going to be nobody’s whipping boys this season.

The Warriors will have much tougher matches, especially in October, but Glasgow’s all round play should be enough to overcome the Italians and set them up for the season ahead.

Edinburgh Rugby’s match against the Dragons in the DAM Health stadium on Saturday evening follows two disappointing pre-season outings but I would suggest that those performances are not representative of what Edinburgh can do and I take them to beat Dragons who had the second lowest points total in the whole URC last season.

Dragons have been boosted by the return of Ross Moriarty and Ashton Hewitt after injury, the latter out for 18 months, but they still went down 28-12 to Wasps in the pre-season game at Rodney Parade.

Mike Blair is really just getting into the swing of things as head coach of Edinburgh and Blair Kinghorn is only starting his second season as first choice No 10, while there are plenty other reasons for optimism in the capital. A comfortable win over Dragons would be an ideal start for them.

Finally I wish to I apologise to the whole island of Ireland for my suggestion in last week’s column that no European nation would make an impact on the World Cup Rugby Sevens in Cape Town at the weekend. The Irish defeat of the host nation was accomplished with verve and pizazz and the men in green truly earned their place in the semi-finals before going on to clinch the bronze medal. Fiji and New Zealand – both countries with a smaller population than ours – fought out the men’s final with the Fijians winning to secure their third World Cup, Australia’s women winning the female equivalent. Meanwhile Scotland couldn’t beat Kenya, Wales and even Chile and ended up in 16th place while Ireland flew the flag for Europe. But then the Irish Rugby Union takes Sevens seriously while the SRU has sold out to the whole Team GB farrago of nonsense. Shame on them.