George Horne made it a hat-trick of player of the season awards for Glasgow Warriors on Sunday night, but the scrum-half knows that personal recognition of this sort will count for little if he and the rest of the team fail to capitalise on the promising position they have got themselves into during the business end of this season.

Holding the awards night last weekend seems premature given that Warriors are still fighting for silverware on two fronts, meaning they still have at least two knock-out games still to play, and potentially five matches left if they go the distance in both the Challenge Cup and the URC.

Having already received the recognition from fans and sponsors, head coach Franco Smith will be hoping that the players feel duty bound to carry on delivering on the park.

First up for Warriors is their first European semi-final appearance away to Scarlets in the Challenge Cup on Saturday evening, and they then host Munster in the quarter-finals of the URC the following weekend.

“I’m obviously happy to get the award and it’s been a great season up to now from a team point of view as well,” said Horne, who was previously voted player of the season by the club’s fans in 2018 and 2020. “It’s been good to get back playing a lot of minutes [after a couple of seasons of limited game-time under Danny Wilson], it’s been a lot of fun.

“The start of the season was a bit slow, with one game good, one game not so good, but it’s been good to get into a bit of a rhythm with a run of games. When the team is on fire it helps the scrum-halves because you can pick up second touches and play at pace.

“There’s a good buzz around the club at the moment and we’re looking forward to a huge game on Saturday, but we’re just trying to focus on ourselves and make sure we’re training in the right way to be ready for the weekend so that we can put out our best possible performance.

“There was a little bit of frustration in the last couple of weeks because we’ve not quite hit our peak levels but the fact that we’ve still been winning is great and we want to just roll into this week.”

The stakes are high on Saturday and Glasgow do not have a great recent record in knock-out rugby. They have managed just one win from seven winner-takes-all matches played since their 2015 Pro 12 success, but Horne promised that the team are ready to rise to the occasion.

“It’s great playing in busy stadiums with good atmospheres, it makes it so much more special for players,” he said. “So, hopefully, it’ll be a big crowd down there and a great atmosphere on Saturday but obviously we’ll be looking to keep them as quiet as possible.

“The weather made it a bit of a non-event when we played them at Scotstoun two weeks ago, but we saw that they’re going to be hot at the breakdown, and they’re going to try to slow us down there.

“They’ve got a lot of jackal threats and we’re going to have to be physical with our ball carries and clear that breakdown to give us quick ball.

“Our game is based on fast ball which allows us to play to space, so we’ve got to do the work up front and create that platform to allow us to play.”

“We’ve talked all season about trying to make ourselves as good as we can. We’re all aware of how big an occasion it is but we’re just focused on the performance rather than the occasion.”

Meanwhile, former Edinburgh centre Cammy Hutchison has signed for English Premiership side Newcastle Falcons, joining fellow Scots Murray McCallum (also moving from Edinburgh), Kiran McDonald (Munster) and Ollie Leatherbarrow (Exeter Chiefs) in committing to the Kingston Park club for next season.

The 24-year-old, who has made 19 appearances for Edinburgh since his debut in June 2021, was one of 13 summer leavers announced by the capital outfit this month.

“He’s a strong, physical ball-carrier who is a really good gain-line option, and he’s clearly been developing his distribution skills,” said Falcons interim head coach Mark Layock. “He’ll give us a good foundation, his core skills are strong and he just offers us that gain-line threat to get us going forward as a team.”