IT is a strange time at Glasgow Warriors as DTH van der Merwe, the record points scorer, announced he is to leave the club at the end of the season while three players are heading for Scotstoun on loan deals from the Edinburgh set-up.

All this while they are preparing tomorrow to face the Ospreys, one of their main challengers for the Guinness PRO12 title - and also the home club of Dan Biggar, the Wales player whose collision with Finn Russell has caused so much controversy.

Neither player will be involved in the game but the clash does add a touch of spice to the occasion as Glasgow start the process of building towards both the end of this season and the start of the next campaign when the number of internationalists in the squad could become a real problem.

The difficulty of dealing with national call-ups was demonstrated when the Warriors management had to react to Tim Swinson being promoted to the national training squad by borrowing Fraser McKenzie from Edinburgh for the weekend and adding Alex Toolis, whose twin brother Ben was part of from the Scotland camp, on a short-term loan. On top of that Jason Hill, the Heriot's flanker whose superb solo try proved decisive when the Club International side beat their Irish counterparts earlier this month, has been called in as back-row cover.

Which may have something to do with van der Merwe being allowed to leave since he is also likely to be away with Canada. In that case it could be that Lee Jones and Rory Hughes would have been the only specialist wings left in Glasgow. Now Gregor Townsend, the head coach, has the spare funds to try to find cover elsewhere.

Some aspects of the rebuilding for next season are already starting to become obvious. Townsend knows he is definitely going to lose Russell, Alex Dunbar and Mark Bennett, to the World Cup, and his midfield options would be further slashed if Peter Horne were added to the group.

Which is one reason he has been so keen to have a look at Fraser Lyle, who only a few months ago was trotting round the central belt working as an estate agent, and admits who he is now living a dream he thought had eluded him.

Having signed from Stirling County last November, he made his debut last weekend against Zebre, and not only scored but impressed his captain Al Kellock with his all-round game. "It is a great opportunity for guys to go out there and get some rugby, guys like Fraser who probably had as good a debut as anyone I have seen for a very long time. He was very, very good and did all things well," Kellock said.

For Lyle himself, he was happy to have got there, played at this level and shown what he can do but he was keeping his feet firmly planted on the ground. "There are always things you can improve on," he said. "Everyone was focused going into the game and I was not really thinking about myself but on where we were in the league and what the team needed."

Making it into pro ranks at 26 demonstrates that it is never too late to get the big break. After studying at Aberdeen University, he had moved to Canada, where he had played for the Calgary Hornets, before moving back to his native Stirling.

"It was playing for Stirling that I got into the Glasgow squad," he said. "When I came back from Canada I was working full-time as an estate agent, but did get the chance to come in training with Glasgow a couple of times without thinking anything of it. I did play in the A-team game against Edinburgh, and that went quite well, before this arrived. I certainly enjoy this a lot more than office life. It is still a novelty."

One of the things that make him a good prospect for Townsend is his versatility - he covers both fly half and centre and can do a job at full back. "I was always going to be targeting this Six Nations period because I knew the club would be losing a lot of players. I had been targeting the Zebre match for some time out, getting ready for it and preparing myself," he said. "Now all I can do is take it day by day."