Ali Price: No contact with Gregor Townsend over Edinburgh Rugby switch
The Scotland scrum-half admitted it had been a “strange” time but that he was happy to challenge himself in a new environment after a decade at Scotstoun. Price, 30, has joined Edinburgh on a season-long loan deal but is out of contract at the end of the campaign so may not play for Glasgow again.
Warriors said the move came about after an approach was made by the national team but Price said he had had no contact with Gregor Townsend, the Scotland coach. “Gregor didn’t speak to me about it,” said the 66-times capped scrum-half. “I’ve made this decision for myself, when the opportunity got given to me. Whatever has happened above me or behind the scenes doesn’t concern me.”
It was assumed that Townsend pushed for the move to ensure Price was given more game-time. He started just eight times last season for Glasgow where scrum-half is a fiercely contested position, with fellow internationals George Horne and Jamie Dobie vying for the No 9 jersey along with Sean Kennedy. Price lost his Scotland place to Ben White during the Six Nations but won it back for the final two matches of the World Cup.
“It’s nobody’s right to be in an international team,” said Price. “Everyone knows you have to play rugby. I wasn’t guaranteed anything; it wasn’t a case of go here, we’ll play you every week and you’ll get in the [Scotland] squad. That’s just not true. Like everybody else, I have to fight for my place. Given the opportunity, or in the minutes I get given, I’d like to show my value and we’ll go from there.”
He came off the bench to help Edinburgh to a 31-23 win over the Bulls on Friday night in his first appearance since the World Cup and admitted that pulling on his new club’s jersey took a bit of getting used to. “I have been going into Scotstoun for ten years,” he said. “This is strange, don’t get me wrong. I never thought that last Monday I would be turning up at Murrayfield to train for Edinburgh or that I would be wearing this kit, to be perfectly honest with you. But here I am. I gave my all over at the Glasgow side of the M8 and I’m excited for this new challenge. It’s something that is good for myself and I’m looking to throw myself into it, enjoy playing my rugby and we’ll see what happens.”
Price, who has recovered from a groin strain, will have the chance to return to Scotstoun next month when Edinburgh take on Glasgow in the first leg of the 1872 Cup on December 22, with the return at Murrayfield six days later. “Those games will come around, they are big occasions over the festive period,” said the scrum-half. “I would love the opportunity to be involved, but I’d quite like to get myself back playing a bit more over the next few weeks first.”
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