Events on the football field may have suggested otherwise this week, but Glasgow Warriors co-captain Ryan Wilson did his bit in the course of it to reinforce the view that no-one remembers what happens in semi-finals.

Only four years have elapsed since the club’s most vaunted achievement, their Pro12 title win. However, in breaking off from preparations for this year’s semi-final against Ulster, the Scotland No.8 sound himself struggling when asked about the corresponding fixture against the same opponents in 2015, admitting that: “I can’t remember… I might have been…” before adding with a laugh: “Don’t ask me about that game.”

For the record, Wilson came on at the start of the second half of a match Glasgow won 16-14 at Scotstoun thanks to their only try scored late in the game by DTH van der Merwe, then converted from the touchline by Finn Russell.

However, it is generally true that the nature of semi-finals is such that losing them is something to forget and no-one knows that better than Glasgow Warriors players and supporters, the past decade having seen them go out at that stage five times, including against the Scarlets at Scotsoun last year, an experience Wilson believes they have learned from.

“We are in a good place,” he asserted. “Was it last year’s semi-final when we had a massive gap and we didn’t play much rugby? The boss has touched on this but we have had a good run in towards this semi. The last three games have been outstanding. Defence has been a big part of that, something we are really pushing on and are proud of, so I think we are in a better place.”

As was the case a year ago, winning their conference has meant a lengthy wait between the last of their scheduled league matches and this semi-final, Ulster having played a tough quarter-final against Connacht in between times, but Wilson does not see that as being as important as the mood end energy in the Glasgow camp..

“It’s always a strange one,” he said. “They will have had two weeks (off) and a week is not a massive difference. We will be a little bit fresher, but I spoke to the boys about it. It’s hard to train without a game at the end of the week and I think the boys have been fantastic, the energy in training has been amazing. There are guys who have been training and they know that they are not going to get a shot, (but) it is a 50 man squad effort and everyone has been pulling out the stumps….yeah, it’s been good.”

For a fair few of them there is extra incentive to get into the match day squad, with Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend having identified several Glasgow players among those still in with a chance of making the World Cup training squad when he left two vacancies in it last week.

While the name of former Warrior Richie Gray was the most glaring omission among the 42 that were listed, current Scotstoun-based trio Scott Cummings, Rob Harley and Tim Swinson are all among those challenging the British & Irish Lion for a place at lock.

“Let’s hope Glasgow play two more games and if Scott gets an opportunity to play, he can show he can play at that level which is closer to Test match level,” said Townsend.

“The same goes for Rob Harley. Tim Swinson is injured, but we know how well he’s played for Glasgow this year. Andrew Davidson has also had a great season for Newcastle, they’ve got one game remaining and Richie has potentially four games with Toulouse.”

Another trio of Glasgow players were also picked out as having the best chance of claiming the spot still available for a back with Townsend observing that:

“The position in the backs is more of a back three player and we’ve got a couple of guys who are potentially going to be involved with Glasgow..

“Kyle Steyn has played at centre and has also played on the wing, Lee Jones is back in full training now and Rory Hughes has been in the squad in recent weeks. Lee has missed the last few months, so it’s important we give him that opportunity.”

In saying so, Townsend alluded to the fact that, whereas the Pro14 is something of a development competition, with the Irish teams in particular rarely selecting full strength teams for their conference matches, the intensity is raised considerably come the play-off stages.

He consequently reckons that ahead of a World Cup campaign that will begin with a meeting with Ireland, these play-offs which see Glasgow face one of the leading Irish provinces in the semi-final, seeking to earn the right to face another of them in the final, offers an opportunity for players to give themselves a timely lift.

“It would be a brilliant end to the season for a number of our players,” said the man who was in charge when that lone previous success was achieved four years ago..We’ve got 17 from Glasgow in our squad so if they were to end up lifting the trophy at Celtic Park it would be brilliant, a huge boost going into our camp. It’s a real measure of where they are, playing the best Irish teams.”

He noted that there had been pros and cons for the Scotland selectors in the timing of these matches that will offer the opportunity to watch players operating at a level that is close to that of international rugby.

“Not announcing the whole squad allows us the opportunity to watch our players play in these games, but we felt we had to announce the bulk of the squad now because we want to be fair to the players whose seasons have ended,” he observed.