Fraser Brown is a big fan of Glasgow Warriors head coach Franco Smith, but he was delighted to prove the South African wrong by earning a contract extension at the club. It was announced yesterday that he 33-year-old has agreed terms on a new deal which will keep him on the Scotstoun payroll until at least next summer.

“We played against Ayrshire Bulls in a pre-season game up in Inverness in September and I was chatting to Franco at breakfast when he turned around and said: ‘It’s really important for you and Richie [Gray] to have one last good season here’,” recalled Brown. “I’d only known him for four or five days by that point!

“I thought: ‘I’m going to prove you wrong’. I’m a little bit belligerent so that’s just the way it is. Richie Gray got a new deal as well, so us old-timers have managed to win him over.

“We all had to prove ourselves, just as you do every time a new head coach comes in.

“This season I’ve just tried to get back to basics, go back to what made me a good player in the first place, and just work hard. Franco appreciates hard work and people who do their job.”

The 61-times capped hooker was one the most notable omissions from Scotland’s World Cup training squad which was announced this month, but he has been around the block enough times to be able to take that disappointment in his stride.

Besides, there is plenty going on at the moment to keep him in a positive frame of mind, with Glasgow heading into a Challenge Cup final showdown against Toulon in Dublin on Friday, and then an appearance in a star-studded World XV which will play an exhibition match against the Barbarians the following Sunday also on the cards.

“I’ve been lucky enough to go to two World Cups and that along with the Lions is the pinnacle of an international career, so to not be in the squad for this one is hard to take,” he acknowledged. “But at the same time life moves on and, luckily, we’ve got this European final so you can’t dwell on it for too long.

“Also, you never know what’s going to happen. I’ve been around a long time and left out of squads before then been brought back in. It’s the way the world works and if we play well on Friday and come away with silverware at the end of it then you’re putting yourself in that conversation.

“Personally, all I can do if I get picked on Friday is play the best I can. Winning teams tend to be looked at more fondly than teams who don’t win.”

It is by no means a foregone conclusion that Brown will be in Warriors’ match-day squad tomorrow night with competition for the No.2 jersey ferocious at the moment. George Turner is Scotland’s first-choice hooker, while Johnny Matthews is in the form of his life.

“I’m just glad I don’t have to be upstairs picking the team, that’s someone else’s job,” Brown shrugged.

“It’s interesting as we all share a car together to training and back, so Tuesday mornings are fine, but on Tuesday afternoons one of us is always a bit grumpy because they are the guy who has missed out.

“Scotland has benefited from having a good group of hookers to pick from and all pushing each other on over the last couple of years, and it’s the same here at Glasgow now.

“Everyone has different attributes, we’re not all the same type of player. That also allows us to bring something different when we play and allows the coaches to rotate when they’re looking for something depending on the opposition. It’s hard to get in the team but that’s how it should be.

“It’s been a funny 12 months and a lot has gone on. With Franco coming in late it was a bit of a mixed bag at the start of the season, to be honest, just with trying to lay foundations, understanding different systems and how Franco wanted to work, and for him as well to get used to other players and coaches.

“Then, from that autumn period, belief grew in what we were trying to do. The more comfortable you are in a system, the more you have trust from upstairs and the confidence grows in the team.

“I think you’ve seen that particularly in the last four or five games where we’ve not played our best rugby but there’s been character, determination and a will to try to get through the games and come out with results any which way possible.

“I think that’s the sign of a team that is growing into a good side. You may have sticky patches in games and not play well at times but you manage to hang in and when you get your opportunity you execute.”