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Ali Price backed as 'emotions can run high' at Glasgow return

By PA
Edinburgh's Ali Price controls the ball. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)

Sean Everitt expects “calm” Ali Price to take his much-hyped return to Scotstoun in his stride as the Scotland scrum-half prepares to start for Edinburgh against parent club Glasgow in the first leg of the 1872 Cup.

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After making a surprise loan switch from Warriors to the team from the Scottish capital last month in a bid to get more game time and enhance his international prospects, the 30-year-old will run out at his old stomping ground for Friday’s inter-city United Rugby Championship showdown.

Senior coach Everitt has no qualms about handing the 2021 British and Irish Lions squad member only his third start for Edinburgh against the team with which he has spent most of the past decade.

“Ali’s settled very quickly into the environment, a lot quicker than I thought he would after being at Glasgow for so many years,” said Everitt.

“He brings a wealth of experience and calmness to the group. He’s very excited about the challenge that lies ahead for him. We will definitely look to Ali to bring calmness to the group tomorrow, we know that emotions can run high.

“Having a guy like him with that knowledge of Glasgow has been extremely helpful and, with his experience of being an international, he will certainly help the team tomorrow night.”

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Price’s familiarity with Glasgow has helped him get the nod over Edinburgh captain Ben Vellacott to start in the number nine jersey.

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“Ben offers us something off the bench and Ali has obviously got the experience of international rugby and playing for the British and Irish Lions, and he’s comfortable playing at Scotstoun,” said Everitt. “That did play a role in the selection.”

Everitt has made only two changes to the side that started last weekend’s Challenge Cup win over Castres.

Scotland wing Darcy Graham takes over from Harry Paterson to make his first start since the World Cup after injury, while WP Nel replaces the injured Javan Sebastian at tighthead.

Argentina back Emiliano Boffelli is on the bench after being absent since the World Cup due to injury.

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Fixture
United Rugby Championship
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22 - 10
Full-time
Edinburgh
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“I think we’ve put together the strongest team that’s available,” said Everitt. “There’s certainly no rotational changes within the group. We’ve been working towards trying to get our big-name players back into the group.

“Darcy and Emiliano have been carrying injuries for some time and it was always my plan that when it came to playing Glasgow twice we’d try and be at our best, so the plan has come together quite nicely.

“All derbies are 50/50 though. It doesn’t matter who you put out on the field – the guys need to perform at the best of their ability.

“I know that personally the guys in the Scotland squad want to get one over their team-mates and, secondly, we’ve spoken about winning silverware and this is definitely an opportunity to put a trophy in the cabinet. Hopefully we can take this opportunity with both hands.”

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Jon 1 days ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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