RICHIE Vernon has underlined his determination to use the Scotland RBS Six Nations player drain to reaffirm his credentials at centre for Glasgow.
Warriors will travel to the Stadio XXV Aprile on Sunday to face Zebre without 14 players who are on national service and with centres Alex Dunbar, Mark Bennett and Peter Horne all on Scotland duty, Vernon has been given a golden opportunity to enjoy an extended run in his favoured position.
Thus, despite the fact that he produced an outstanding performance in Glasgow’s last game, in the European Rugby Champions Cup against Bath, in his old No 8 slot, Vernon says he has resolved to hold the centre ground.
“It was a one-week measure for the European game at Bath and I enjoyed it but I am looking to use this game, and the next few hopefully, to put a bit of a marker down in the centres,” admitted Vernon.
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He continued: “I know that the three guys who are away with Scotland, Mark Bennett, Alex Dunbar and Horny have been playing brilliantly but this is my opportunity. So I want to get a run and I want to try and play my best rugby. It was a change being back at No 8 but now all my focus is on being back in the centres and really making my case to stay in the mix there for the rest of the season.”
Should Edinburgh defeat Guinness Pro12 leaders Ospreys at Myreside tonight, Glasgow, despite their player drain, could be afforded an opportunity to scale the league summit with victory over a side they put 78 points on in two fixtures last term.
Yet such has been the demands placed on Gregor Townsend’s squad that rookie stand-off Fraser Lyle, who joined Glasgow on a six-month deal in November, could feature.
The former Stirling County player is understood to have trained at 12 in harness with Vernon but his favoured position is stand-off.
However, Canada international Connor Braid, who has returned to Scotstoun from a loan stint with London Scottish, is seen as the safe and more experienced pair of hands at 10 where he played for Canada in the Autumn Internationals.