ALI PRICE – Scotland’s first choice scrum-half in recent seasons who was a British and Irish Lions Test player – is one of six players to be released from the national squad to play for Glasgow Warriors in their URC clash against the Dragons on Saturday afternoon, just a week before the Six Nations kicks-off.
While Price’s involvement in this game does not rule the 29-year-old out of next weekend’s Calcutta Cup match, it does indicate that national head coach Gregor Townsend is not entirely comfortable with how much recent game-time the player has had.
Price has managed only four starts and six bench appearances so far this season, with just 70 minutes of rugby this calendar year
Kenny Murray names Scotland Under-20s’ Six Nations training squad
Connor Boyle signs on for at least two-more years with Edinburgh
Pete Horne and Brad Mooar join Scotland coaching team
Stafford McDowall, who has also been released by Scotland, will captain the side, while the other national squad members are props Jamie Bhatti and Simon Berghan, hooker Fraser Brown and No 8 Jack Dempsey.
Zander Fagerson, who is in the Scotland training squad and understood to be in the frame for next week’s Calcutta Cup match despite being sidelines since early December with a hamstring injury, has not been released to get some game-time.
“Tomorrow is an important game for us to finish this block of fixtures well,” said head coach Franco Smith. “The players we have selected are keen to pull on the Glasgow shirt, and we know that the Dragons at Rodney Parade are always a tough opponent.
“We know we will have to be at our best to meet their determination to keep Rodney Parade a fortress, as we know the Dragons are a proud team.”
Glasgow Warriors (v Dragons at Rodney Parade on Saturday @ 3pm): J McKay; S Cancelliere, S McDowall ©, S Johnson, C Forbes; D Weir, A Price; J Bhatti, F Brown, S Berghan, L Bean, J du Preez, T Gordon, S Vailanu, J Dempsey. Substitutes: J Matthews, N McBeth, L Sordoni, A Samuel, E Ferrie, C Neild, J Dobie, T Jordan.
Dragons: J Williams; J Rosser, S Tomkinson, J Dixon, A Hewitt; J Hanrahan, R Williams ©; R Jones, B Coghlan, L Fairbrother, M Screech, B Carter, G Nott, S Lonsdale, T Basham. Substitutes: J Benjamin, A Seiuli, C Coleman, H Taylor, B Fry, L Jones, S Davies, S Hughes
Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)
- Unavailable for selection: Scott Cummings (foot), Rory Darge (ankle), Zander Fagerson (hamstring), Oli Kebble (shoulder), Sintu Manjezi (knee), Jack Mann (head), Domingo Miotti (back), Enrique Pieretto (chest), Ross Thompson (ankle), Murphy Walker (neck), Ryan Wilson (knee).
Sounds like Russell did well tonight and came through unscathed.
Exciting Chaotic and error strewn match with Glasgow mixing errors with Excellence, Johnson (especially) and McDowall played well. Weir remains too slow (couple of inexcusable errors) Dempsey makes crucial yards. Forbes must have done something wrong not to be in Scotland squad.
Glasgow appears to be very very well coached
Agree. Most important cog and hardest carrier in the Scotland back row at the moment when going forward.
I can only assume those released are not earmarked for the Scotland 23 which would suggest Price and Dempsey not in the team with Horne at scrum half and a back row of Fagerson, Ritchie and Crosbie?? R Gary and Gilchrist in 2nd row with Skinner as back up?
If Price isn’t starting, White might be. Be interesting to see who the breakaway forwards will be. Watson is back, and if he comes through that ok wouldn’t be surprised if GT goes with tried and tested Ritchie, Fagerson and Watson.
No – Price going off at half time suggests to me that he’s going to be starting (unfortunately – it should be Horne) but just needed some extra minutes. Agree that Dempsey (again unfortunately) is not looking like a starter next week as he played the entire 80.
Great result for Warriors though and thought McDowell really unlucky not to get MotM – it’s been great to see him get some games finally and take the chance to show what he’s always been capable of but not had the chance to show. Got to say that Franco’s man management – squad rotation and getting all players firing – including the fringe – has been superb so far.
surprised to see Dempsey released, he certainly doesn’t need game time