KEY members of both the Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh squads will end three months of furlough tomorrow and resume contact training at Oriam and BT Murrayfield respectively.

Other players will follow in subsequent weeks as the SRU embarks on what it has called a “phased return”, building up to the double-header between the country’s two professional sides late next month.

Glasgow, under new head coach Danny Wilson, had hoped that their contingent would be able to return to Scotstoun this week, but arrangements have yet to be finalised for using the facility, which the Warriors share with other sports.

Even so, late clearance to train at Oriam means that they can work apart from their

Edinburgh rivals for the first time since training recommenced. Over the past few weeks players from both teams have been training at Murrayfield, but only on an invitational, individual basis in order to observe the rules of the government’s furlough scheme.

“Head coaches are implementing a phased return for players to contact training from 20 July onwards to fulfil the PRO14 season fixtures,” a statement from the SRU said yesterday. “Those players remaining on furlough will continue to have access to voluntary fitness sessions and coaches will keep player requirements under constant review.

“Scottish Rugby continues to utilise the Job Retention Scheme across players and employees given the financial pressures on the organisation. Scottish Rugby’s medical team continue to closely monitor players as we strictly adhere to government, medical and public health guidance.”

Those players returning tomorrow will be the ones most likely to feature in the two games between the sides, on August 22 and 29. With well over 40 players in both squads, an immediate return en masse was deemed unnecessary from a match-preparation point of view. Keeping some players back from full training at this stage also ensures that, should there be any health issues with the initial group of returnees, a reserve pool is there to be called on.