THERE was, perhaps, a subliminal message going out as Dave Rennie, the Glasgow Warriors head coach, named the team to take on Benetton Treviso tonight with nine changes from the side that hammered Munster.

The talk all week has been around the future of Finn Russell, the fly-half, who is reported to have had big-money offers from Montpellier, Racing 92, Bordeaux, Lyon and an unnamed club in England.

"We’re going to work really hard to keep him here, I know he loves it here," Rennie insisted. "We won’t be able to throw the sort of money that France are going to throw at him, so we’re trying to create an environment here that people want to stay at and people want to come to. Ultimately, the question is probably going to be directed to Finn himself.

"There’s been a lot of talk about this for a number of months – that’s what happens with quality players. He was outstanding last week, that’s the sort of performance we want out of him every week.”

For all that, Rennie is still making a point with his selection. If Russell does go, he will get more money but will have to work for it. There is no possibility he will get the same chance to rest and keep fresh while there will be times he is ordered to play through injuries and accept the risk of them blowing up up into something more serious.

"From a Scottish perspective, we can manage him. In France, or wherever, they want their pound of flesh for the money they pay. That’s all part of the decision making,” Rennie added.

Coincidentally, or otherwise, this week, when the contract chat resurfaced, Rennie has chosen to give a group of players, including Russell, time off. Though the player has been sporting an elaborate noseguard after breaking it against Munster, Rennie insisted that had nothing to do with the decision to give him a rest.

He could have asked the fly-half to keep playing, since he has played only three games this season. However, the Scotland team management ask the clubs they control to make sure the key players don't play more than five successive matches. If Russell had pushed that to the limit, he would have been forced to sit out a European game, so it made sense to give him the time off early and make sure he is available all through October.

Nor is Russell the only one. Rennie changes the entire front row, with Fraser Brown added to the bench as he makes his comeback from injury. He also gives Tim Swinson a week on the bench and switches the back row around with Callum Gibbins out to recover from a minor rib issue and Rob Harley making his first start of the season after injury.

The way it all works out means that Rennie is getting a good look at a side that will probably bear a strong resemblance to the one he will have to field in November when the current internationalists are away.

Though he was careful to talk up all the players' cap chances, only three of the starting XV he named to face Treviso – Tommy Seymour, Peter Horne and Ryan Wilson, the captain who reverts to No.8 – can have any confidence they will be selected for Scotland.

"In the competition I came from [Super Rugby], we made lots of changes every week," Rennie pointed out. "You have to create competition for places and you have to create depth.

"I don’t look at it as a risk. It’s around creating depth, providing opportunity, and creating competition. We know we’re going to be without a lot of international players in autumn and in the Six Nations. It’s just a great opportunity for us to see some of these players under pressure.

“I’ve got confidence in the full squad. If you’re planning on being successful and winning things, you won’t do it with 23 guys.”

The international periods are going to test the club's strength in depth, which is one reason he also announced three signings. Ryan Grant, the prop, is signed on a short-term deal to cover the injury loss of Oli Kebble, while Matt Fagerson and Robbie Beattie are promoted from the Academy to full-time contracts.

Both have been training with Glasgow all summer, so it is mostly a case of regularising their position while Grant, who left last year, has more than 100 Glasgow games under his belt and after struggling with injuries is ready for a comeback.

After two wins, Treviso are arriving in Scotland on a high and Rennie was careful to talk up the challenge they will pose, but one version of Glasgow did so well last week, he is sure this alternative version can do just as well tonight.

Glasgow Warriors: R Jackson; T Seymour, N Grigg, S Johnson, L Jones; P Horne, H Pyrgos; A Allan, P MacArthur, D Rae, B Alainu’uese, S Cummings, R Harley, C Fusaro, R Wilson (C). Replacements: F Brown, J Bhatti, A Nicol, T Swinson, M Fagerson, A Price, B Thomson, N Matawalu.

Benetton Treviso: J Hayward; A Esposito, T Benvenuti, A Sgarbi, L Sperandio; M Banks, T Tebaldi; C Traore, L Bigi, S Ferrari, M Fuser, D Budd (C), S Negri, A Steyn, M Barbini. Replacements: F Zani, A De Marchi, T Pasquali, F Ruzza, M Lazzaroni, R Barbieri, G Bronzini, I McKinley.

Referee: Dan Jones (Wales)