Franco Smith is set to ring the changes to his Glasgow Warriors team ahead of their quest to pick up a seventh win on the bounce when they visit Perpignan in the Challenge Cup on Saturday evening.

The Scotstoun side produced their best performance of the season with a rousing victory over the Stormers in the URC last Sunday, but Smith will not feel obliged to stick with that winning formula, with the South African taking the view that regular squad rotation is key to driving up standards.

The coach’s willingness to switch things around was certainly vind-icated in early December, when Warriors teams containing several youngsters and fringe players who had had little or no game-time in the league this season up until that point managed to pick up wins over Bath away and Perpignan at Murrayfield in the first two rounds of this year’s Challenge Cup pool stage.

“Of course, the fans want to see their favourite player out there every week, but it’s a whole squad effort, because to have a good team you need a good squad,” said Smith, when asked for his thoughts on team selection for this weekend’s match. “We’ve played well against Bath and Perpignan last month and we’ll look to build on that.

“The World Cup isn’t far away now. You look at that tournament and also what comes after. We need to keep on developing players, there’s important shifts to be made there.

“Results like beating the Stormers will energise the whole group to get even better. Whoever is picked to play, they now have a responsibility to perform because of the standards being set.

“In the last six games, we’ve defin-itely seen examples of us learning to win tight games. We’re getting into the right positions and executing well.

“Sometimes, you can make mistakes early in the game and end up a couple of scores down. It then becomes a bit of a free-for-all towards the end. But we’re learning to keep it tight from the start. That allows us to be into a position to execute and edge things towards the end.

“Everyone at the club is playing their part. We’ll keep on developing and, hopefully, give ourselves a chance of being contenders.”

Glasgow’s postponed URC match against the Lions will now be played in Johannesburg on Saturday 25th February, which is the day before Scotland’s Six Nations match away to France. The game did not go ahead as initially scheduled in October due to a virus in the Warriors camp.