Scotland scrum-half Ali Price feels the tartan tinge to Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup final shows the increasing strength of Gregor Townsend’s squad.


Price’s former Glasgow team-mates Stuart Hogg and Jonny Gray collected winners’ medals for Exeter, along with Scotland lock Sam Skinner and one of Price’s rivals for the number nine jersey, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, who is just outside the international squad.

Price’s former Warriors half-back partner, Finn Russell, was on the losing side for Racing 92 and has now joined the Scotland squad for the first time since a breach of discipline cost him his place ahead of the Guinness Six Nations in January.

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Ahead of Scotland’s friendly against Georgia on Friday night, Price said: “It shows the strength of the group we have got and there were always going to be Scots on a winning side, which is good.

“Hoggy and Jonny have gone to Exeter and been so influential, and you have Finn at Racing that kind of runs the show there. The fact they are not just squad players, they are at the forefront of the team, is brilliant to see.”

Hogg, Gray and Skinner will join up with their international team-mates after Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership final.

“These are big games, they are pretty much Test matches, so it’s more experience for those guys,” Price said.


“When Hoggy, Sam and Jonny come in after the final they will potentially have won a double, so they will be full of confidence, which can only help the group having players coming in on the back of incredible seasons.

“Even Finn coming in, the result didn’t go his way, but to get a massive cup run like that and make it to a European final is still a brilliant achievement in itself.

“It can only be good for the group and that’s where the squad is at just now.

“You have players competing in semi-finals, finals of these competitions and that can only be a good thing.”


Price feels that depth in the battle for the scrum-half role, with his Warriors team-mate George Horne and the uncapped Harlequins player Scott Steele competing for the jersey.

“It’s pretty strong, there are four of five guys who all want to be in the squad, all want to start, and that’s driving us on to be better,” he said.

“There’s three of us in the squad now and Sam is down at Exeter who could potentially finish the season with two trophies.

“It drives standards and it’s not just at nine, it’s 10, the centres, back row, there’s loads of options. It’s a nice pressure to be under and no-one can rest on their laurels, which perhaps in the past has been the case.

“There has been a first team and everyone knows what the first team is and unless there’s an injury nothing is going to change. Whereas now if you don’t perform, there are boys equally capable.

“I like it. I got a bit complacent a few years ago and I never let myself get in that mind set again because it cost me quite a lot for a year or so.

“That won’t be happening this time, but at the same time that’s driving me to try and perform the best I can every time I get the opportunity.”

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