Magners League Play-Off side Glasgow Warriors will kick-off their pre-season campaign with a return to the Challenge Vaquerin in France next month.
The Warriors carried off the trophy two years ago and will meet Top 14 teams Castres Olympique (Wednesday, 4 August) and Montpellier (Saturday, 7 August). The team will be based in Millau for a tournament that has traditionally given new signings and the younger members of the squad a chance to impress the coaching team in advance of the new season.
One of those who benefited from the experience in 2008 was prop Jon Welsh who was voted Warriors’ Young Player of the Year in 2009/10 by his peers.
"The Challenge Vaquerin gave us the opportunity to be together as a whole squad and to bond as a team. The training was tough but that set us up for the season,” said Welsh..
"Being new to the professional game it gave me a chance to prove myself to the other players and coaches and to test myself against some experienced opposition, including some of the best players in France."
Those not involved in the Millau match action, mostly senior international players who were involved in the highly successful summer tour of Argentina and the A tour to Romania, will be put through their paces by the fitness and conditioning team ahead of two more matches in August.
Sale Sharks will visit Firhill on Friday 20 August (kick-off 7.30pm) for the Warriors' only home pre-season friendly, while Ali Kellock’s men will travel Adams Park to face their Heineken Cup Pool 6 opponents, London Wasps, on Saturday 28 August (kick-off 3pm).