Stuart Hogg was taking contact in training with Glasgow Warriors this week and his participation in their opening European Champions Cup match against Exeter Chiefs tomorrow has not been categorically ruled out, but there is no need for his coaches to take any major gamble.

That is largely down to the form of Ruaridh Jackson, once seen as the future of the club as a playmaker, but now reborn, it seems, playing in the role that is traditionally described as a last line of defence but also provides much more freedom to attack.

“I have been enjoying it,” said the 29-year-old, who was only three days out of his teens when he made his Glasgow debut 10 seasons ago. 

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“I enjoy being out there on the pitch, running about, being out playing with the boys again. If it is playing full-back then I will be happy. If I get a shot at 10 I will be happy too, so at this stage I wouldn’t rule it out. But we have a lot of depth at 10 and Hoggy has been injured and the door has been opened for me so I have just been enjoying being on the pitch.”

That is not least because he is struggling to remember the last time he started, as he has this season, six successive matches, staying on the pitch throughout all of them to boot.

“It has been nice putting a string of games together that’s for sure. It gives you confidence playing week in and week out. I am feeling good for it and hopefully, touch wood, the body is holding up so far. There are a few aches and pains but that comes with the territory. 

“It has been good fun and I am enjoying it,” said Jackson, who made fewer than 40 appearances in three seasons with Wasps and Harlequins, many of them off the bench, after his initial spell with Glasgow ended in 2014.

Little wonder that he was keen to accept the opportunity to return to Scotstoun when it arose in the summer. This weekend’s match evokes memories of Jackson at his very best since he was widely credited with inspiring his team to victory at Exeter’s Sandy Park in 2014 albeit, a tad ironically, Hogg was the goal-kicker who registered the match-winning points as they recovered from a 10-point deficit.

That was the only season in which Glasgow met Exeter competitively, the Scottish side winning both encounters but still ending in bottom spot in the pool. While Jackson recognises that much has changed as he and his colleagues prepare for their latest bid to make an impact in European rugby, they can draw upon that experience.

“We have both won championships since then,” Jackson noted. “It was a good few years ago, but we had them in the Heineken Cup and we got the win home and away. We know that we can beat them. Their team has probably not changed all that much since then and they have built a good core squad and have moved forward, so we know it is going to be tough. 

“They are a confident team that are hard to break down, with a good set piece, and we have to go down there and front up. Hopefully the forwards will give us a good platform so we can fire some shots and give it our best.

“It doesn’t get much harder down at Sandy Park. They are coming off the back of the championship last year. They are a fit team, a physical team and have a really good squad that has a tightness about them. They are 11 games on the trot at home so it is going to be a really big challenge for us.”

That said, the prospect of the trip to the West Country is one he views with relish rather than trepidation.

“I have played at Sandy Park a few times. I love playing there. It is a good track and the atmosphere is good fun,” he said. 

“The crowd really get into it. Even if it is against you it is good fun. It is loud, there is a bit of wind, it is a bit like here, not too dissimilar. They have a good vocal crowd that helps them out. 

“Hopefully we can turn that against them by getting down the right end and quietening their chants down a bit.”

They do so with every reason to believe in themselves having registered wins in difficult places already this season, against Connacht in sand-blasted Galway, in the capital of Welsh rugby and on a first competitive visit to South Africa when, at altitude, they out-lasted the Free State Cheetahs.

And there is still a conviction that there is better to come from them, which will need to be the case in what is a ferociously difficult pool containing three-time European champions Leinster and ex-Scotland coach Vern Cotter’s Montpellier, as well as the reigning English champions.

Each of their rivals have lost just one match this season, but it is Glasgow who go into the match knowing they have coped with all conditions, surfaces and atmospheres encountered so far this season as the only unbeaten team in the top tier of European rugby.

“Regarding our performances we are pretty critical of ourselves as we set high standards,” said Jackson.

“There have been a few games we have put ourselves under pressure when we did not need to. The fact that we won games when we were not at our best and got some performances of high quality. If we get things right from minute one to eighty we can be in a good position.”