Nigel Carolan insists Glasgow Warriors have no fear ahead of Friday night’s trip to The Stoop to face Harlequins in the Investec Champions Cup.

The Warriors assistant coach is looking forward to seeing Franco Smith’s side take on the Premiership outfit, whose head coach is now former Glasgow boss Danny Wilson.

Carolan worked under Wilson at Scotstoun and while he’s looking forward to reuniting with the Welshman weekend, he says Glasgow will make the trip won’t be any from a Glasgow squad who are looking to prove themselves on the biggest stage.

Last season’s run to the Challenge Cup final, where Glasgow lost to Toulon, still leaves Carolan frustrated, but the Irishman views it as a learning experience.

He believes this season is the Warriors' chance to prove they have taken lessons from the hurt of last year's final defeat. 

He said: “We were really disappointed with the end of the year and the final with Toulon in the Challenge Cup. We didn’t fire shots early enough or enough shots.

"We didn’t have our best version of our game and we know when we can bring it together we can ask good questions no matter who the opposition is.

“We got some good learning out of it. Stages like this on Friday are chances for us to prove we’ve learned from the Challenge Cup defeat and prove on these stages we can deliver our game and the best version of our game and we know when that clicks it’s good enough to beat anybody.

“It’s genuine excitement from the lads. It’s opposition we’re relatively unfamiliar with. You know what you’re going to get but it’s my first time as attack coach against Harlequins.

Scotland Rugby News: Franco Smith

“It’s an exciting proposition. They’ve got a great stadium, great fans and they’re a good team to play against. They play positive rugby and it’s going to be exciting to be a part of that and to bring our brand of rugby into that as well.

“It’s a mindset as well. From an attack perspective, you need to be positive. In the Premiership there’s a lot of kicking, it’s a physical game and teams want to transfer that pressure onto the opposition so when the game breaks up you need to be brave and play to space.

“It’s not in our DNA to go into hand-to-hand combat. We’re a team who tries to move the ball around and we’re not going to change that point of view. Once you do that, opportunities present themselves and we have to be organised and cool-headed enough to take care of them.”

Huw Jones will not be fit to face his former side as he continues to recover from the hand injury picked up in the Six Nations, but Sione Tuipulotu could return to action.

He is back in training and ahead of schedule after injuring his knee against England in February, but Carolan admitted the trip to London tempered expectations of Tuipulotu making his return this weekend. 

Scotland Rugby News: Huw Jones will definitely miss the trip to his former side, while Sione Tuipulotu remains a major doubtHuw Jones will definitely miss the trip to his former side, while Sione Tuipulotu remains a major doubt (Image: SNS)

Not having the Scotland centre would be a blow for Smith when he names his team but Carolan is confident Glasgow have enough strength in depth to cope. 

Smith has fielded the same midfield for the past four matches, with Tom Jordan partnering Stafford McDowall, while club captain Kyle Steyn has also worn the number 13 jersey in the past. 

Saturday’s thumping win over Scarlets was another example of the depth in the squad as Glasgow took their time to get all their Scotland squad members back.

Carolan reckons there’s a serious headache for Smith to solve with his selections moving forward because of it.

He added: “Even with the squad at the weekend there was guys who maybe didn’t see [a lot of] rugby at the start of the year, with the likes of Ally Miller and Gregor Hiddleston. They are consistent performers.

“It’s systematic of training. The standards are really high, they drive each other and they know what’s required of them when they get a chance. It’s getting really difficult to differentiate between the internationals and the next guys. The standard is extremely high and it’s driving performances.

“I think we’ve got a nice clutter of international players and we rely on the full squad when they’re away, we feel they’ve done a great job with Dragons, Benneton, Cardiff and Scarlets with a few returning.

“It creates some really good headaches and some really good performances so it keeps the returning internationals on their toes as well. They know the positions they’ve vacated have been well looked after and are contributing to winning habits.

"We’ve been really happy with how we’ve gone in the last two weeks to reintegrate our international players.

“It was two tough games against Welsh opposition but we feel on the road at Scarlets it was a very professional effort.”

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With a reunion with Wilson on the cards for this weekend, Carolan expects him to be doing everything he can to find any flaw, particularly in the Glasgow set-piece.

He said: “I get on really well with Danny. We had a great relationship and he’s done a great job with Harlequins.

Scotland Rugby News: Former Glasgow Warriors head coach Danny Wilson, who is now part of the Harlequins set-upFormer Glasgow Warriors head coach Danny Wilson, who is now part of the Harlequins set-up (Image: SNS)

“They’re still in the top quarter of the Premiership and they play a brand of rugby that is equally exciting.

"Danny is a lineout technician so their set pieces are to be admired and no doubt he’ll be looking to pick holes in ours with a fine toothcomb.”