Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend has challenged his starters to prove they are worth their place in his first XV after a disappointing defeat to Munster last time out.
The Warriors were on a run of six successive RaboDirect PRO12 wins but successive defeats to Leinster and Munster, the latter a 31-3 loss last weekend, have halted their momentum.
And while attention has now turned to the Heineken Cup Townsend has warned his big-name players that they need to prove their worth, and sooner rather than later.
“We’re keeping faith with the core group of players who were beaten by Munster as we know that that level of performance was not a true reflection of that side,” he said.
“I expect see a reaction and a determination from those players to prove that they deserve their place.
“We are coming off the back of what was a disappointing performance against Munster last week, particularly as we believed we were capable of leaving Thomond Park with a win.
“We pride ourselves on being tough to beat and we didn't do that in Ireland. There has been a renewed determination this week as that was a difficult defeat to take.”
Next up for Townsend’s troops is a double header against Top 14 side Castres in Heineken Cup Pool 4.
And after two defeats in their first two Pool games Townsend knows that now is the time to make amends for their sluggish start.
“We know our record in the Heineken Cup is not as good as it should be and we’re fighting to stay in the tournament,” he added.
“The next two games will determine how the rest of our season will go and we’ll be doing all we can to still be in contention in this competition.”