AS one of only five players to start all three Test matches for Scotland during their summer tour of Argentina, Zander Fagerson was given a well-earned extended break before returning to pre-season duty with Glasgow Warriors – and he feels the time off has allowed him to get into peak physical and psychological shape for the long season ahead, which he hopes will culminate in a successful World Cup campaign next Autumn.

“I loved Argentina – what a great country – and it was three weeks of hard rugby which didn’t finish the way we wanted it to but was a really good learning curve,” he said.

“Then I had a really good off-season when I did a few things to keep my body ticking over but also had a great time with the family – we went to Mull, we went to Jersey and a few other places. So, after five weeks off with the kids, I’m absolutely raring to go!

“I left school probably at my heaviest and I’ve played at different weights every season,” he added. “And I just felt a bit sluggish at the end of last season with a few niggles, so I took it upon myself to shed a bit of weight, and it feels like it is turning out alright so far.

“The way the game is going – with more collisions, more rucks and more carries – if I can shift a few kgs it means I can bounce around the park a bit more to make my life a lot easier.

“It could be age, or it could be weight, so I fixed the one I could fix, and I feel much better for it,” he continued. ”I’m hoping it’s going to be a big year so I’m doing all I can to be in the best shape possible.

“I’m feeling physically and mentally fresh, and I came into pre-season really wanting to attack it and get the most out of it. I feel I have done that.

Fagerson wasted little time in proving that he is fighting fit and raring to go when he came off the bench early in the second half of Glasgow’s URC season-opener against Benetton last Friday night, scoring the away team’s only try and leading the charge in a much improved second half performance.

It wasn’t enough to prevent a disappointing 33-11 defeat for the Warriors, but Fagerson is confident the team can bounce back against Cardiff at Scotstoun this coming Friday.

“Last season was a really long season and, to be honest, as a team, we probably weren’t fit enough,” he added. “So, we spoke about that and put things in place to make sure that was addressed this season.

“We’re a team that wants to throw the ball around, that’s in Glasgow’s DNA, and if we’re fitter we can do that.”

“Last Friday was the first game and we were a bit rusty, but it’s nothing we can’t fix.”

Zander Fagerson was speaking to celebrate the launch of ultrafast internet provider Brillband’s three-year sponsorship deal with Glasgow Warriors. Households in Glasgow and Renfrewshire can sign-up to join the waiting list