Glasgow Warriors head coach Franco Smith says he would be wary of rushing Rory Darge and Scott Cummings straight back into Scotland’s match-day squad for next Sunday’s Six Nations round four match against Ireland at Murrayfield after their recent return from long-term injuries.

Darge played 66 minutes of Warriors’ 50-8 win over Zebre on Friday night, having made his comeback from an ankle injury in September with 55 minutes against the Lions six days earlier.

Meanwhile, Cummings has now played three matches since recovering from a foot injury suffered in late October.

Shockingly, we are still waiting for the Six Nations to deliver their verdict from Grant Gilchrist’s disciplinary hearing on Tuesday night following his red card against France last weekend. The hold-up appears to be related to clarifying which games will count towards whatever suspension he has received, with Scotland presumably hoping that Edinburgh’s match against Leinster last night is included.

At this stage, it seems likely that he will not be available to play against Ireland, so Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend could be particularly tempted to parachute Cummings straight back into his match-day squad. However, with Richie and Jonny Gray, Sam Skinner and Cameron Henderson all in the selection mix, there are other options.

READ MORE: Johnny Matthews magic helps to light routine Zebre rout

“I personally think that if I was in that position, I would wait a little bit,” said Smith. “There’s nothing wrong with the players that Gregor is using at the moment.

“So, I would involve them [Darge and Cummings] in the training week, for sure. However, to pick them into the team, that will obviously be his decision, but I think it would be smart to get them another couple of games at club level, and get them ready for whatever is needed going towards the World Cup.

“Rory needs a little bit of time still with the role that he’s played and the specific injury that he’s had. I think he needs confidence, and today was much better than the week before.

“I think Scotty is in good form. He’s crossed the bridge playing 80 minutes this weekend and that was important.”

There were no new injury concerns for Warriors on Friday night, with Smith explaining that Josh McKay hurt his ankle but is not expected to miss any game time.

“We’re trying to empty our medical room; there is only a couple of guys left, so we didn’t want to take any risks,” the coach said. “So, it was just precautionary. With 10 minutes left, there was no need to force it.”

The Warriors squad will now have a week off before starting the build-up to their next match away to Munster on March 26.

READ MORE: World Rugby must tackle sport’s tackling problem at its root

“I don’t want to call it a holiday – it’s a break which forms part of our prep,” Smith said.

“We started way back in August – or even before that – so it is a long season, and the way we want to play we need enthusiasm and creativity, and the only way to get that is if the guys are well rested.

“So, one of the ingredients for that is that they stay away from Scotstoun for a week. Come back and have 12 days to Munster.”

The need to reinvigorate the players was evident in the performance against Zebre, with Warriors achieving a bonus-point win which keeps them on track for a home draw in the URC play-offs through shrewd game management which relied on their dominant pack. Incisive back play was at a premium until their opponents ran out of steam in the final quarter.

“We saw these three games [during the Six Nations window] as a collective,” said Smith. “It is a block of games which is difficult. Ulster was a difficult game where we were disrupted more than they were, then you go away to the Lions [in Johannesburg] on a short trip in the heat with all that travel, then you come back you expect the guys to fire at 200 kilometres an hour [against Zebre] and it’s just not realistic.

“So, I think the message to the people out there who might lift their eyebrows at the way we won tonight, is that it was all constructed so that we still win the games, but we manage the disruptions well.”