Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill, who is notorious for his plain-spoken approach, seems to have earned the ire of his Glasgow Warriors counterpart Dave Rennie, after publicly declaring an interest in one of Rennie’s players earlier this month.
The Englishman had previously stated that he would be keen to add one of George Horne, Ali Price or Henry Pyrgos to his stock of scrum-halves, with all three Scotland internationals and all three currently contracted at Glasgow.
With Sam Hidalgo-Clyne moving to the Scarlets next season, Edinburgh will be forced to rely heavily on Sean Kennedy and Nathan Fowles at nine, with academy scrum-half Charlie Shiel also pushing for more playing time.
Cockerill’s desire to add more competition at scrum-half is understandable, but it has not gone down well with Rennie, whose side are currently preparing for their Guinness PRO14 semi-final against the Scarlets.
Speaking ahead of the Friday night fixture, Rennie stated that “He [Cockerill] would be better talking to us rather than the media.”
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“We haven’t heard anything. They are all contracted, signed with us. The big thing is that they want to be here.”
With both sides owned by the Scottish Rugby Union, transfers between the two sides are commonplace, but they do not usually take place when players are still under contract and if one of the three Glasgow scrum-halves were to make the move to the capital, it would require interference from the SRU, something which Cockerill had previously hinted at.
Ahead of Edinburgh’s fixture with Munster earlier this month, the former Leicester Tigers director of rugby said “there is no point having three national nines in one team. However, those are discussions that are in process.”
The irony will not be lost on some that Cockerill comes from the Aviva Premiership, where clubs are independently-owned and can store as much talent – within the bounds of the salary cap – as they want, whilst Rennie arrived last year from New Zealand, where a more cooperative union-owned team system is in place, just as it is in Scotland.
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