Overpowered too often in matches that matter, Glasgow Warriors believe they have now taken on board what they need to do when opponents have the capacity to prevent them from playing their preferred way.

Year after year the Scotstoun-based team has produced an attractive style of play without making any sort of impact in the Champions Cup while, with a solitary exception in 2015, repeatedly coming up short in the Pro14 play-offs. It was consequently a familiar story in the Champions Cup this season, wins against tournament newcomers Lyon and Cardiff Blues, negated by losses in all three meetings with English champions Saracens, but according to back-row forward Matt Fagerson, things have now changed.

“I don’t know if it was after the Saracens (quarter-final) but boys know if you don’t front on the weekend it’s not just going to happen,” he claimed. “It’s really got to come through training. Boys are really pushing themselves.”

Still only 20 he feels he is operating in a culture in which everyone is encouraged to express themselves.


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“It probably is quite hard for a young guy to (challenge senior players) but to be honest the environment we have, everyone takes the feedback and they work on it,” he said. “No matter who it is, whether it be Jonny (Gray), Fraser (Brown), Adam (Hastings). Adam is quite a young guy and he’s dishing it out as good as he’s getting it. It’s not too hard to do that.”

The effectiveness of any changes will be thoroughly examined tomorrow, in the most important derby match for many years against an Edinburgh team that has already beaten them twice this season.

“Edinburgh have really turned up the last two times we’ve played them and we just didn’t match them physically,” Fagerson admitted.“They’ve got a very dominant pack as they’ve shown beating Toulon away. They’ve done really well in Champions Cup and through the league so we need to match them physically this time.”

*Glasgow Warriors have confirmed that Scotland centre Alex Dunbar will leave the club at the end of this season, as will his fellow international Kevin Bryce, while four players have signed new deals Thomas Gordon and Robbie Nairn agreeing two year deals and Rory Hughes and Bruce Flockhart extending their stays until next year.