MATT Fagerson has emerged as a doubt for the start of Scotland’s autumn international campaign after illness ruled him out of Glasgow’s URC game against Zebre this afternoon.

The Warriors No.8 came off the bench in last week’s win over the Lions to make his first appearance of the season after recovering from a broken arm, and even if he is only sidelined for a few days, it remains to be seen if national coach Gregor Townsend will deem he has played enough rugby to be involved in the match against Tonga a fortnight today.

With Nick Haining of Edinburgh still on the injury list, the unavailability of Fagerson would leave Townsend short of options at No 8 for that game, the first of a demanding schedule which also sees Scotland play Australia, South Africa and Japan on successive weekends. The Warriors have one more fixture after today - at home to Leinster next Friday - before the international break.

Glasgow coach Danny Wilson has a similar problem to Townsend right now, as Australian international Jack Dempsey - like Fagerson a No 8 - is also out because of illness. “There’s a bit of illness that’s going on,” Wilson said, declining to speculate on how long either player might be out for.

Ally Miller comes into the back row at blindside for the match in Parma, with captain Ryan Wilson switching to No 8 and Rory Darge continuing at blindside. The other changes in the pack see prop Oli Kebble return from injury and hooker Johnny Mathews start instead of Fraser Brown.

Behind the scrum there are two changes at half-back, where Duncan Weir and George Horne play at 10 and 9 respectively in place of Ross Thompson and Jamie Dobie. Centre Sione Tuipulotu returns to the starting line-up as an indirect replacement for Sam Johnson, who was concussed in last week’s win over the Lions but is simply being rested this week, according to Wilson. Nick Grigg, who started last week at 13, moves to 12 to accommodate Tuipulotu.

The most interesting name in the Warriors line-up, however, is that of Sebastian Cancelliere. The winger signed in the summer but was on international duty with Argentina until last week, and Wilson believes he will be a very dynamic addition to the Scotstoun squad.

“He’s excited, very excited,” the coach said of the 28-year-old Pumas back. “He has a huge amount of pace, and I think with him on one wing and Rufus [McLean] on the other that brings real pace to our flank and our outside backs.

“We’re really looking forward to seeing how he goes. Obviously he’s come off the back of a period with Argentina. He didn’t play much rugby there, so he’s really keen to get back playing.

“It’s important that we find out about him. We haven’t had pre-season games to have a look at some of these guys in a Glasgow shirt - now we get a chance with Seb.

“He came back in the middle of last week, he watched the game at the weekend, then he’s trained this week. It’s a good opportunity for Seb to hit the ground running. A big test going to Italy first up, a tough game against Zebre, but he’s excited and motivated and we look forward to seeing how he goes.”

The last time Glasgow visited Italy was on Rainbow Cup duty back in April when they lost badly to Benetton. They have lost only one competitive game since then and look far more confident and coherent as a squad than they were then, but Wilson is wary, nonetheless, of today’s match even though Zebre have lost all three of the URC matches to date.

“It was a big turning point for us, if I’m honest,” the coach said of that Benetton match. “It kind of gave us what we needed at that time - a realisation that you can’t go to places like Treviso and not be on top of your game.

“And it’s the same at Zebre - we can’t go there without being on top of our game. We know we need to be mentally and emotionally on top of our game as well as physically if we’re going to have a chance of coming out with a win.”