Dave Rennie hits back at Richard Cockerill in scrum-half row

Glasgow Warriors coach Dave Rennie has made it clear he is not best pleased with Edinburgh counterpart Richard Cockerill publicly coveting the services of one of his scrum-halves for next season.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS
Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS

The Edinburgh chief said in the lead up to his side’s Guinness Pro14 defeat to Munster that he would be interested in one of the Glasgow trio of Ali Price, Henry Pyrgos or George Horne to strengthen his No 9 options after Sam Hidalgo-Clyne’s decision to leave the capital club for Scarlets next season.

Speaking at Scotstoun yesterday as he prepares for Glasgow’s Pro14 semi-final against Scarlets on Friday evening, Rennie responded: “He [Cockerill] would be better talking to us rather than the media. We haven’t heard anything.

“They are all contracted, signed with us. The big thing is that they all want to be here.”

Horne has stated clearly that he wants to remain at Scotstoun but both pro teams, of course, are owned by the SRU and there have been a number of internal transfers between the two down the years.

The likes of Al Kellock and Fraser Brown, to name just two, left the capital to flourish in Glasgow, while, more recently, internationals Duncan Weir and Mark Bennett have moved in the opposite direction.

Hooker George Turner enjoyed a rapid rise from the Edinburgh wilderness to the national team when he moved to Glasgow last summer.

Cockerill has made it clear that scrum-half is a key position he needs to strengthen for next season, saying that would have been the case even if Hidalgo-Clyne had opted to stay. Although the Scarlets-bound 24-year-old has been named in the summer tour squad, while Pyrgos has not, it has been generally assumed that the Glasgow trio have become Scotland coach Gregor Townsend’s top three scrum-halves and Cockerill insisted that moving one to Edinburgh would be just as much a benefit to the national team in the lead up to next year’s World Cup.

The Englishman said: “It would make sense. There is no point having three national nines in one team. However, those are discussions that are in process. Whether anything comes of that then we will see.”

Rennie said yesterday, however, that he was not aware of any such discussions.

“They are all contracted, signed with us. The big thing is that they all want to be here,” said the Kiwi.

“They are signed to our contract. I’m sure that if some player wanted to move on to get opportunities, which has happened a lot between the two sides in the past, then it could be there, but there has been no talk about it.”

Rennie revealed that, long-term injuries aside, he has a full complement to pick from for Friday’s semi-final, including lock Jonny Gray and the centre trio of Huw Jones, Peter Horne and Sam Johnson.

The club reported yesterday morning that fewer than 900 tickets remained available for what is heading to be an enhanced 10,000 sell-out with the installation of temporary stands at either end of Scotstoun.