George Horne has been elected Glasgow Warriors Player of the Season for the second time in three years, after coming out on top in a supporters’ poll. It is the second award the scrum-half has picked up this week, after his score against Zebre in February was named Try of the Season.

In the absence of their annual awards dinner, Warriors have been announcing their prize-winners all this week via social media, with the climax being this Player of the Season award which was announced yesterday afternoon.

Horne also won the award in 2017-18, and the fact that Ali Price was the winner in 2018-19, while youngster Jamie Dobie has been named Glasgow Warriors Young Player of the Season this year, illustrates just how well stocked the club is at scrum-half at the moment.

While Horne’s form for club and country has been excellent in recent years, he has had to play second fiddle to Price for Scotland selection, and that on-going battle for the dark blue No 9 jersey is going to continue to be a fascinating subplot for Scottish rugby supporters whenever the sport returns.

While Price tends to be quicker distributing the ball, Horne’s great strength is his pace support lines and near superhuman fitness levels. Since returning to club duty after Scotland’s World Cup campaign – during which he snatched a hat-trick in the team’s 61-0 pool match victory over Russia – the 25-year-old has made 13 appearances in all competitions for the Warriors, scoring eight tries in total.

His scoring exploits in the PRO14 this season were particularly impressive with seven tries in as many games before the lockdown brought everything to a shuddering halt. It is still to be decided whether the league campaign will play to a conclusion when the Covid-19 restrictions are eventually relaxed. A PRO14 Board meeting is scheduled for next week and is likely to shed more light on how they plan to make that happen. 

It is understood that the ideal target date for return is late August, with local derbies behind closed doors likely to be the first matches, which could mean a series of Edinburgh versus Glasgow Warriors clashes at Murrayfield, before hopefully a play-off final to decide an ultimate winner of the competition.

Recognition in the pro game did not come easily to Horne. Despite 12 appearances over two seasons for the Scotland Under-20s team, concerns about his size were a big factor in it taking the Fifer until he was just a few weeks shy of his 22nd birthday before he picked up his first full-time contract with Glasgow Warriors.

Before that he had spells playing for Currie Chieftains and Glasgow Hawks in the Scottish Premiership, and for London Scottish in the second-tier English Championship, whilst transitioning from stand-off to scrum-half.

However, when he did get his chance, he grabbed it with both hands, with a series of scintillating performances for Warriors during the 2017-18 season, with 10 tries in 17 games, earning him a call-up to Gregor Townsend’s Scotland squad for the summer tour to the Americas at the end of that season.

His international debut did not go to plan with Scotland slumping to a humiliating 29-30 defeat to the USA, but he bounced back in fine style with two tries in a scintillating 15-44 victory over Argentina seven days later. 

Meanwhile, at club level, he has now scored 30 tries in 55 matches for Warriors. 


Full list of Glasgow Warriors 2019-20 Awards winners:

McCrea Financial Services Player of the Season: George Horne
Denholm Oilfield Services Players’ Player of the Season: Zander Fagerson
Land Rover Young Player of the Season: Jamie Dobie
Mackenzie Construction Most Improved Player of the Season: Tom Gordon
The Famous Grouse Coaches Award: Rob Harley
Harper Macleod Test Player of the Season: Scott Cummings
Al Kellock Leadership Award, sponsored by Malcolm Group: Ryan Wilson
SP Energy Networks Community Club of the Season: Biggar RFC
Glasgow Warriors Try of the Season, sponsored by University of Strathclyde: George Horne v Zebre