WHEN Scotland stand-off Ruaridh Jackson joined Glasgow Warriors last August from Harlequins, there were those who saw the switch as just another player returning home to top up his pension plan, or at least until his very distinctive “full set” got him a walk-on part in the next BBC Edwardian drama.

In less than a year however, Jackson has proved the sceptics were wide of the mark, having extended his stay at Scotstoun for another year, at least, and picked up the Denholm Oilfield Services Players’ Player of the Year award, jointly, with Sam Johnson.

The move has worked well for the 30-year-old. Or maybe that should be moves.

For while others have got their heads down to a year of same old, same old, Jackson’s has been full of change and diversity, with a positional switch, a shift in to Sevens rugby, and, with maybe the best yet to come, a PRO14 semi-final to look forward to next weekend.

And all of that off the back of just wanting to play more.

“I didn’t have some big masterplan. The aim was relatively simple; to play rugby, and get as much game time as possible over the season, and see if that could get me back in to the Scotland mix. That was it.

“I had a pretty inactive year in my last year at Harlequins, and just wanted to play rather than have people wondering if I had, or was contemplating, retirement,” Jackson laughs.

“Last August, I came on a one-year contract, which has now been extended to another year, and that is probably down to me playing more than I expected, largely due to Hoggy [Stuart Hogg] being injured or on Scotland duty for large parts of the year.

“Firstly it was nice coming back, then to be playing regularly was great. The sevens was something a bit different, and above all, Warriors have played well and we are in May with a couple of games still to be played and the chance of finishing on a real high.

“All in all, a really good year. It’s had a bit of everything – and it’s been good,” admitted Jackson, who even talking about the game, appears to have a new lease of life.

“Your season is almost a 12-month thing these days; start in August, finish in May, maybe have a tour to go on, then have a breather and start in August again.

“This season has gone really quickly, probably because it hasn’t been the norm. In general, it can be a long old season and can become a bit of a slog. But the way it has been broken up for me, it’s probably freshened me up as well.”

While recruited to play at 10, it’s as No 15 that Jackson has shone this year.

“I wasn’t too fussed where I played – tight-head may have been a bit extreme – but all you are looking for is to get a chance, wherever. I didn’t expect to be considered a full-back, but, that was the opportunity that opened up through Hoggy being unavailable. Luckily, it went pretty well,” says Jackson, who is still coming to terms with different levels of activity, or inactivity.

“There are a lot of similarities in a way. Quite often, as 10, you can be the last man just because you are chasing down and returning kicks. You tend to maybe handle the ball more at stand-off, but the way the Warriors play, the back three are always involved, defensively and in attack, so you are just as active – and for me there has been a bit more high-speed running involved. Well, high-speed for me. It is all relative.

“The general idea is that as you got older, the more infield you came. I’m not sure if I’ve done something wrong – or right – that I’m heading in the opposite direction. But it’s been great.”

And not content with making his mark in the 15-a-side form, Jackson has deviated into the Sevens scene as well.

“It wasn’t really in my thoughts but [coach] Dave [Rennie] spoke to me about it and once I got my head around it, it was an opportunity I couldn’t really pass up, with it being a Commonwealth Games year and the chance to play Hong Kong as well, which was a brilliant experience.”

Last weekend, Glasgow missed out on the 1872 Cup when they lost to Edinburgh. However, there is still an opportunity to finish on a high with Warriors.

“When we looked back at the game, we didn’t play too badly. Maybe Edinburgh were a wee bit more intense, that they had to win the game to keep their PRO14 season alive.

“It wasn’t one we wanted to lose, but, the semi-final in the grand scheme is a much bigger game for us.”