Franco Smith admits he didn’t want Ali Price to leave Glasgow Warriors after his departure for rivals Edinburgh. 

The 30-year-old has been one of Glasgow’s most prominent players across the last decade, but he’s now unlikely to play for the club again after penning a one-year loan deal with Edinburgh. The decision to allow Price to depart raised eyebrows amongst some Warriors fans with the club citing the deal was ‘in the national interest’ with Scottish Rugby playing an instrumental role. 

While Smith insists Price’s exit could prove to be a ‘good decision’ for all parties, the Glasgow head coach wanted the Scotland international to stay. 

“No, obviously not,” Smith replied when asked if he wanted Price to leave. “He’s a good player and he’s been here for a long time. But it’s understandable with everything taken into account. It’s a good decision in the end and we will stand by that - everyone must benefit from this.

“Obviously, I don’t want to make a long story about it as enough has been said. We are disappointed to lose him, especially from my side, but there’s a big picture. I’ve been selling a big picture to Scottish Rugby for a long time and it was an important move.”

While it’s not initially clear how the deal will benefit Glasgow, Price’s exit will free up the budget to potentially bring in another player. Smith refused to be drawn on whether Glasgow had received assurances from the Scottish Rugby over a new arrival, but he talked up the potential impact of Sean Kennedy.

Asked whether Glasgow had received promises from Scottish Rugby. Smith answered: “I’m going to refrain because that question falls on Al Kellock’s lap. From a playing perspective, it looks like we’ve lost a player but we might have gained one in Sean Kennedy. 

READ MORE: Ali Price joins Edinburgh from Glasgow Warriors on season-long loan

"He’s been doing an excellent job for us and he was sat behind three international scrum-halves but now, suddenly, the light will shine on him again. I’m excited because I think he will do a similar job for us and we will be sure to have him during the Six Nation as he’s not currently in the national frame. We will give him time to develop in that role."

There’s been speculation that Price’s departure could lead to Glasgow strengthening their options at fly-half but Smith refused to be drawn on potential arrivals. 

“I’m not going to confirm or deny anything in that regard," he rebuked. "For now, the squad is in a good position. We have a couple of cards hidden away that we can play at the right time. We’ll see how the season goes and see where they are needed.

“Currently, I’m backing everyone in this group to perform the best they can and as we develop the season there might be injuries and we can decide if we are going to add someone to the squad. But for now, we are full steam ahead with the players that we’ve got.”

Price’s departure will result in more game time for Jamie Dobie. The 22-year-old will start against Ospreys tonight, with George Horne amongst six Scotland internationals enjoying a break after their World Cup exploits and Smith insists the versatile back is an exciting prospect. 

“He’s a really good rugby player,” Smith explained. “I agree there is probably a lot more continuity lurking, and I think he’s still got a lot to learn. We sometimes forget that although he’s played over 50 times for Glasgow, he’s still only 22 years old, so he’s got a lot to learn, and he’s the first one to admit that being level-headed as he is. 

“So, we’ll just keep on chipping away by giving feedback at the end of every game and during the week, so we can see how much he can improve. He’s a diligent player so I think we will see some major progress as we go forward.”

Glasgow will aim to build on an impressive win over the Stormers last weekend when they travel to Wales to face the Ospreys. Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Rory Darge, Kyle Steyn and Huw Jones join Horne in taking their planned rest period. 

Warriors captain Steyn is expected to be out for around six weeks through an ankle injury but there was also major concern around Jones. The Scotland international sustained an issue against Connacht and the initial diagnosis was inconclusive but Smith has provided good news. 

“It sounds very positive,” he admitted. “He’s got another week that we can take away from Scotstoun to get his holiday break and liberate his mind from everything that’s happened. He will then come back and start his return to play almost straight away. There was some positive news and there’s no further intervention needed from the medical side.”