Ali Price exit opens door for another Glasgow Warriors scrum-half to make ‘major progress’
The 22-year-old has been selected to start at scrum-half in Saturday’s game against the Ospreys in Swansea and Franco Smith expects him to develop over the course of the season. The Glasgow coach says Dobie has “still got a lot to learn” but believes he has the talent and personality to make a significant contribution. Having made his debut in 2019 as an 18-year-old and then won man-of-the-match on his first start later that season, Dobie has long been earmarked for great things and Smith also praised the sometime wing's versatility.
“He can play more than just one position,” said Smith. “He is just an all-round good player. He’s embraced that. With the way we’ve been playing, with six-two benches, it is important to have someone who is so versatile. We sometimes forget that although he’s played over 50 times for Glasgow, he’s still only 22, so he’s got a lot to learn, and he’s the first one to admit that, being level-headed as he is. He’s a diligent player so I think we will see some major progress as we go forward.”
Dobie will play alongside Duncan Weir in a new halfback combination in Wales as George Horne takes a rest and Tom Jordan moves to the bench. Weir started just two games under Smith last season but the coach praised the stand-off’s fitness and said he deserved his chance. “Look, Duncan’s worked really hard,” said Smith. “He’s adapted to last season and what we are expecting from a fly-half.”
Glasgow stood up well to the test posed by the Stormers last Friday and Smith wants them to take that level of performance to Swansea against an Ospreys side who have recalled Wales caps Adam Beard, Dewi Lake and Nicky Smith to start, with George North among the replacements. “I know the Ospreys have picked their best available team,” added Smith. “George North is not in the starting side but he’s lurking on the bench. They are playing at home after two wins at home and they’ll be keen to back that up so it’ll be a very tough encounter.”
Smith also had good news to report on Huw Jones who will not need surgery on a toe injury. The Scotland centre, who should return later this month, is one of a number of Glasgow players who were involved at the World Cup and have now been given a couple of weeks off. They include Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Rory Darge and Horne.
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors (URC, Saturday, Swansea.com Stadium, 5.15pm. TV: live on Viaplay)
Ospreys: M Nagy; L Morgan, K Williams, O Watkin, M Protheroe; J Walsh, R Morgan-Williams; N Smith, D Lake, B Warren, R Davies, A Beard, H Deaves, J Tipuric (c), M Morris.
Replacements: E Lewis, G Phillips, T Botha, J Fender, J Ratti, L Davies, G North, D Edwards.
Glasgow Warriors: O Smith; S Cancelliere, S Tuipulotu, S McDowall (c), K Rowe; D Weir, J Dobie; J Bhatti, J Matthews, L Sordoni, S Manjezi, R Gray, M Fagerson, S Vailanu, H Venter.
Replacements: A Fraser, A Dell, E Pieretto, G Peterson, A Samuel, A Miller, S Kennedy, T Jordan.
Referee: Andrea Piardi (FIR).
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