Duncan Weir rolled back the years for Glasgow Warriors in Swansea on Saturday and Al Dickinson insists the experienced fly-half will play a ‘big part’ this season. 

The 32-year-old made his first start of the URC campaign as Glasgow claimed a 31-23 win over the Ospreys. It was an eventful afternoon for Weir as the former Scotland international was yellow-carded for a head-on-head collision with Kieron Williams on 24 minutes. After returning to the field following his time in the sin-bin, Weir played an influential role as Glasgow made it three wins from four. 

Weir’s trusted boot allowed Glasgow to establish a foothold and he kicked the visitors into the lead with just four minutes to go from a penalty before Alan Dell secured the bonus point with a late try. 

Weir has been frustrated with his gametime in recent seasons, but he returned this summer in pristine shape and coach Dickinson believes he has ‘massive value’.

“That’s good old Dunc,” Dickinson commented on Weir’s display. “Duncan has massive value, he’s safe as houses with the boot and he can control the game. He’s vocal and experienced and that’s vital for this team. He will play a big part this season and it was good to see him get back.

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"He’s had a couple of injuries the last few seasons but he’s back in the groove and he’s as fit as I’ve ever seen him. His motivation is extremely high and it’s great to see him back performing with Glasgow. 

"He’s worked so hard. He was in with his kids over the summer using the gym and he’s still grafting. He’s taken summer really seriously and he was in working on his robustness so he can stay injury-free. I think he will play a big part this year, which is great because it gives you the option to bring on quality. He’s performed big moments over the year for club and country - so he’s someone you can rely on.”

Glasgow have turned Scotsoun into a fortress recently and they went undefeated at home in the URC last season until defeat to Munster in the play-offs. Improving their away form will be key to the Warriros’ prospects this campaign and Dickinson insists there’s room for improvement, despite their impressive start. 

“There’s been some really good stuff but other things have been frustrating,” the scrum coach admitted. “That’s just the same as any start to the season, especially when you’re drip-feeding boys back from internationals and that can be quite a challenge. We are in a pretty good spot.

“The good things that we do in one game, we sometimes don’t do them in others. Our set-piece against Ospreys was a little bit messy and it wasn’t as clean as it needs to be, despite scoring maul tries. Our scrum wasn’t as clean either and there are a few issues we need to fix there, especially against Treviso because there’s is very good. We need to tidy up around the scrum and that will be important.” 

Dickinson works at close quarters with one of Glasgow’s star performers in recent weeks - Johnny Matthews. The hooker added another try to his ever-growing collection against Ospreys to extend his incredible record to 29 tries in 54 appearances.

“He’s definitely got a little eye for the try line,” Dickinson proclaimed. “Johnny is a very humble guy and he’s the first to say that it’s the boys in front that do most of the work, but he’s got to navigate his way to the line. It’s not just maul tries because he’s not shy of popping up elsewhere to get the score. He’s a great kid and he’s loving his rugby at the moment. I’d be delighted if he continues to score tries. 

"You probably aren’t picking up hookers due to their try-scoring ability and he’s got lots of other qualities when it comes to his set-piece and his general play. His record is crazy though and it probably helps with the way that we play and our maul. It gives him those opportunities and he’s just grown. Every year he’s got better and better, plus now he’s an international and that’s given him that taste to show how far he can go.”

Ali Price’s move from Glasgow to Edinburgh has been the talk of Scottish rugby recently and Dickinson - who played for Edinburgh before coaching at the Warriors - has weighed in. 

“It is a bit bizarre,” Dickinson replied when asked about seeing Price in Edinburgh colours. “I used to play against Ali for Edinburgh so it’s strange but it’s a professional sport these days. He really wants to play so it is what it is. It was a strange situation but obviously, for him, it was the right choice.

“He’s obviously a big loss for Glasgow because he’s been here a long time and his calibre as a player is pretty obvious. But it’s a professional sport and sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”