Ali Price agrees terms to stay at Edinburgh

There was interest in Scotland and Lions scrum-half from France

Ali Price has signed on for one more year at least with Edinburgh. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Ali Price has signed on for one more year at least with Edinburgh. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

ALI PRICE has committed to at least one more year playing for Edinburgh, having initially made the switch east from Glasgow Warriors in November on a loan deal until the end of the current season.

There was reportedly interest from further afield, particularly France, for the Scotland and Lions scrum-half, but the 30-year-old – who recently became a father for the first time to a daughter called Luna – explained that domestic considerations were a key driving factor in his decision to sign a 12-month deal to stay at the capital club.

“I also looked at what I think is right for me at this stage and potentially where I could have gone, was I going to get the best out of myself? I just felt the right thing for myself and partner and daughter was to stay here where I’m enjoying it. For the sake of me taking an extra hour out of my day to come through and drive back, it wasn’t really a conversation to be had,” he explained.


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“But look, in a year’s time, if we’re stood here and another decision has been made and I’m going somewhere else, we’ll be a year further down the line. That might be the right thing for me at that time. You get to a stage where you see where you are internationally – all these factors will play into the decisions I make.  While I still feel I can compete and give my all in a place where I am happy and settled, I think this was the right [option].”

Price was asked how much of factor in his decision was the prospect of being able to keep himself fresh and in the shop window for Scotland selection?

He replied: “I’ll be honest – not massive. That’s not a given. I think the last six months would tell you that. I just know that if I’m playing well and enjoying my rugby, that will give me the best chance to be in the mix. I believe, especially if it was to be anywhere in Europe, that would still be the case. It wasn’t really a factor in why I stayed.”

Supporters of his old club will be quick to argue that Price has downgraded by switching to their Scottish rivals, but Price says he believes Edinburgh are not far away from hitting the same soft of levels as Glasgow Warriors, who currently sit seven places higher in second spot in the URC table.

“We’ve just finished our review from the Sharks game [a 36-30 Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat in Durban last weekend] and the first 40 minutes, going in ahead at 16-14, we played a lot of good stuff – dominated possession and territory, we’d kept a good Sharks team pretty quiet apart from two breakaway tries,” he reasoned.

 

 

“For me, it is just winning moments and focusing on every moment in a game. At international level it is highlighted but at club level, it is just as important, especially when you get to big knock-out games. It is just about staying in the moment and playing for 80 minutes.

“We have not quite managed to put a full game together yet. That is the challenge, everyone is trying to stop you from doing that. But I believe, and we believe as a squad, that if we do achieve that, with the game model we are trying to follow and the players we have, we can cause any team issues.

“For us, we have five games now and every game is pretty much knock-out to make the top eight [or ideally] the top four of the URC. It will be about putting in performances we are proud of for 80 minutes and that will get us results.

“We’re definitely closer to doing that than we were a few weeks ago. It’s a tough one because we’ll highlight something and the following week it will be brilliant but then something else might have dropped off. Again, it is highlighting something, putting it right but also keeping the other things we’ve been working on at the level we require.”

 

 

Edinburgh head coach Sean Everitt said: “Ali is a seasoned campaigner and a world-class scrum-half. He’s played well for Edinburgh. It’s not only what he brings on the field, it’s also what he brings from a leadership point of view.

“He’s an integral part of our strategy group and his input there is invaluable from a player point of view. He’s the link between the forwards and the backs and with the experience he’s had with Scotland and over 60 Test matches and a starter with the British and Irish Lions team, we can only be delighted to have him for another year.

“Not only that, he’s a good person, he’s very coachable and he does bring energy to the team. We’re delighted to have him with us.”


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About David Barnes 3956 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

2 Comments

  1. I am sorry but I find it concerning that players in the latter days of their careers and no longer Scotland starters are found comfortable berths at Edinburgh and Glasgow. Scrum half is one of the positions where Scotland has a track of producing quality players so the likes of Price should be thanked for his past efforts and allowed to move abroad. The development pathway should be blooding players in their early 20s in the pro teams. George Horne is a good player but one whose development has been stunted by not having the opportunity to start regularly at a young age. Shiel at Edinburgh in a similar category. He is of an age when he is in his prime but hasn’t had the opportunity.

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  2. Vellacott may just be starting to come back onto his game now but I wouldn’t be extending the contracts of any our 9s based on the season so far.

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