HISTORY can be a rotten judge. Looking at the record, Glasgow Warriors have it easy when they play Benetton Treviso. Pat MacArthur, the hooker and only survivor from their only home defeat by the Italians six years ago, would beg to differ.

"It is one of the toughest games of the year for me," he said. "You know what you are going to get – a confrontational, hard team. It is an enjoyable game to play, you always walk off knowing you have played in a good game."

While Glasgow are unbeaten this season, Treviso have also won their last two games, a battling come-from-behind victory over Edinburgh followed by an impressive result against the Ospreys, even though the Welsh club were bringing back their British & Irish Lions players.

Loading article content

The defensive effort that stopped the Welsh scoring at all in the second half was particularly impressive, though it was not a shock to MacArthur. "It does not surprise me – they have been pushing teams hard for the last couple of years," he remarked.

To add a bit more uncertainty to this weekend's game, it looks as though Glasgow may use their fifth match of the season to think about rotating some of the key units that have been left as untouched as possible while the team adjusts to the new style and new coaches.

That would provide a perfectly timed opportunity for players like MacArthur. Fraser Brown is expected back from injury – possibly being eased into action off the bench – while George Turner has been starting the matches so far. With European matches on the near horizon, this is a perfect time to remind coaches what he brings.

"We have got a big squad, a strong squad. We want to be sure that whoever gets a chance to play, there is a minimum standard they have to play at," he said. "Then you can change the team and see a heightening in intensity because that is your chance to show how good you are. Everybody wants to take their chance.

"It is the way rugby progresses. It shows the progress we have made over the last few years – if you think back over the last seven or eight years, the strength in depth was not there but now you are looking at three internationalist in one position fighting for the one spot and trying to show that they are the best.

"Everyone goes out there to do that, knowing that if you are not performing to scratch, there are plenty of others waiting to step up."

The trick is to rotate the players, but keep the intensity that brought the comprehensive win over Munster last week. "We came in [after the game] and said ‘that is the minimum standard’," said MacArthur, who came off the bench to help close out the game. "It is not a question of who we are playing against but how we play and how we can develop. We will never relax, that is just a new minimum and we will aim to move on from there."