By all accounts, the rigorous strength and conditioning procedures the Scotland players are being put through at the Oriam HQ in

Edinburgh should come with their own yellow warning from the Met Office.

“It is 10 times worse than a sauna, just horrible,” gasped Matt Fagerson having emerged from a hydrotherapy session which was as hot and clammy as some of the more effervescent, nod-and-a-wink Auld Reekie steam rooms. Well, so we're led to believe.

The heat and humidity of Japan in September, where Scotland will travel to for the Rugby World Cup, will take a bit of getting used to so the physical and psychological preparation has to be robust.

“We are doing heat chamber stuff so it feels like we’re in Japan already,” said Fagerson of this process of acclimatisation. “You’re submerged in a pool that’s about 45 degrees. It’s like going into a hot bath, a really hot bath.

“The air around is about 40 degrees as well. We spend 20 minutes in there but the boys look like they are going to pass out after 15. It is quite a mental test as well as physical.

“The World Cup is obviously at the forefront of our minds. But we are taking every day as it comes and trying to get as much as we can from every session, whether it’s in the gym, the heat chamber or out on the pitch.”

It is just over a year ago now that Fagerson was left hot and bothered on his Test debut for Scotland in a calamitous 30-29 defeat to the USA in Houston as the hosts earned a first win against a tier one nation which just about prompted ticker tape parades across Texas.

Some 12 months on, the 20-year-old Glasgow Warriors man can reflect on a topsy-turvy spell for both club and country.

“It wasn’t an ideal debut,” he said. “It was a great experience but I came back into pre-season and had a pretty bad hamstring injury, so it was a slow start.

“But I got my fitness back and was playing a good brand of rugby. I got in favour with Dave [Rennie, the

Warriors coach] and ended up playing towards the tail end of the season.

“The Six Nations and the Autumn Tests didn’t go so well but I started to really enjoy my rugby again and coming to training and being with the guys. It’s a different feeling coming into the camp now. It was a different feeling in the Six Nations when you were just holding pads or whatever.

“During the summer tests I wasn’t even thinking about the World Cup. I was just thinking ‘this is my Test debut and I need to try and play the best I can’.

“Even coming off that, the World Cup wasn’t really on my mind. It’s been awesome coming back into the scene again.”

Fagerson is seeing plenty of progress. Given his tender years, there is lots to learn but the Perth-born back row is doing his best to further his rugby education.

“At the beginning of the season there was talk that my over-the-ball stuff wasn’t that consistent,” he said. “I didn’t get over it enough. But in the last few games of the season I tried to get stuck into the rucks and it has been a lot better. I have to keep cracking on with that and trying to improve.

“The talent and the depth in the back row is pretty tough. It’s a pretty competitive back row so I’m just trying to train as well as I can and put my best foot forward.

“With me being able to play across the back row, that’s obviously a massive bonus but I think there are quite a few boys like that.”

As Fagerson continues to adapt to the demands of the international scene, there is a handy shoulder to lean on in the shape of his big brother, Zander.

“He’s been there a lot for me and obviously he’s been through quite a lot as well,” said the younger Fagerson sibling.

“He’s had a kid and he’s taken a different perspective I think, in his playing career and his life in general. Chatting to him is really good and Jonny Gray has been great as well. He’s very open and honest. There’s quite a few guys around who are good to talk to.”

In addition to preparing for the meteorological conditions they will face in the far east, the Scotland players have also been dabbling in the old Japanese discipline of judo.

Simply translated, judo means “the gentle way” although a frenzied rumble involving a heaving mass of rugby blokes looks about as gentle as a cuddle with a bear that's just been condemned to a lifetime of celibacy.

“It was very educational,” said Fagerson, who clearly knows his nage-waza from his katame-waza.