HENRY PYRGOS’ own chance of playing in the biggest matches may be under threat, but the scrum-half has still welcomed the emergence of a group of talented young players at both Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Pyrgos and Ali Price have been joined at Glasgow by Niko Matawalu, and with George Horne, younger brother of midfield playmaker Peter, breaking through last season, Warriors now have more options at scrum-half as they seek to be competitive in both the Pro14 and Europe this season.

“It’s what you want for Scotland,” Pyrgos said. “We’re a small country in terms of player pool so it’s great that there are a lot of good nines at Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as a couple of guys playing abroad. Obviously individually you want to concentrate on yourself and get better, but it’s a good place for Scottish rugby.

“It’s probably why you’re seeing an improvement in the national team over the last couple of years, because there’s improvement in a lot of positions and scrum-half’s definitely one of them.

“We’ve got a lot of talented young guys coming through who have done really well in pre-season and had a couple of opportunities in the early games and I’m sure they’ll continue to get that. It’s great for the squad and it’s really good to see it at Edinburgh as well with a lot of good young guys coming through pushing for places.”

It is also a situation that should allow the Scottish sides to remain competitive throughout the season, something they have struggled to do.

Pyrgos acknowledged that in what was coach Gregor Townsend’s last campaign there had been extra attention paid to Europe last season when they made their first appearance in a European Cup quarter-final, but effectively sacrificed what had become their regular slot in the Pro12 play-offs. However, the 28-year-old believes there is no reason they cannot be competitive on two fronts, even allowing for international call-ups.

“It is definitely something we can do,” he asserted.

“We put a lot of emphasis on Europe last year because it was something we hadn’t achieved. We just didn’t play well enough in the league when we needed to really.

“We lost a lot of games during the international windows and there were other times at the end of the season we didn’t perform in the league. It does test the squad, but it can be done.

“You have to be able to be consistent which is something we’ll be striving for again. We’ve got a really tough group in Europe again, as it always is with 20 of the best teams, and again in the league it’s going to be tough but we want to make the play-offs there and in Europe as well.”