INTERNATIONAL RUGBY: Former Wisbech Grammar School pupil could start for Scotland

Scotland's Ali Price looks dejected after the RBS 6 Nations match at the Stade de France, Paris.
Scotland's Ali Price looks dejected after the RBS 6 Nations match at the Stade de France, Paris.

A former Wisbech Grammar School pupil is waiting anxiously to learn if he’ll get his first start for Scotland in Saturday’s Six Nations meeting with Wales.

Alistair Price (23), from King’s Lynn, is in line to replace injured scrum-half and skipper Greig Laidlaw in the big game at Murrayfield.

Head coach Vern Cotter said last night (February 20) that Price and his Glasgow Warriors clubmate Henry Pyrgos were the two candidates to take Laidlaw’s number nine jersey.

Price came off the bench at the Stade de France a fortnight ago to replace Laidlaw during a 22-16 defeat, but that was only his second Test appearance.

Pyrgos has 18 caps and experience captaining Warriors in domestic and European competition but is only just back to full fitness after a troublesome knee injury.

“We have a plan we want to execute, but Henry and Ali have different strengths,” said defence coach Matt Taylor.

“Ali is very exciting with ball in hand, while Henry is good with his organisation and kicking. Both will have big parts to play.

“Both have been in the squad since the start, so they know the systems and they know the rest of the guys well.

“Both will be important whether they start or finish.”

Price’s Scotland career before the France game amounted to seven minutes against Georgia in Kilmarnock last autumn but he insists he’ll be ready if called upon to fill Laidlaw’s boots.

“I’d love to play, especially with the game being at Murrayfield. If I’m called upon to start I’ll be ready to go,” he said.

“What would I take with me into the Wales game, if selected? Just that I need to remain calm. You need to remain calm at this level.”

Price started his professional career with Bedford Blues and then joined Glasgow Warriors for the 2013/14 season.

He was born in King’s Lynn but qualifies for Scotland selection through his mother.

While at Wisbech Grammar School he played both rugby and cricket for Cambridgeshire.