'PlayStation by night, drinking by day' - How Ali Price recovered from lockdown low to star for Glasgow, Scotland and Lions

Ali Price has revealed that he went off the rails for a time during lockdown in the spring of 2020, before getting his act together thanks to a few choice words from some of his Glasgow team-mates.

Ali Price has signed a new contract with Glasgow Warriors after bouncing back from a difficult first lockdown. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Ali Price has signed a new contract with Glasgow Warriors after bouncing back from a difficult first lockdown. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The 28-year-old scrum-half, who has just signed a new contract for an unspecified length of time with the Warriors, is in the best form of his career at present and has captained both club and country this season as well as playing for the Lions in all three Tests in the summer. But when sport was suspended at the start of the Covid pandemic and everyone was told to stay at home as much as possible, Price’s morale suffered badly.

“I think I got a bit lost at the start of the first lockdown,” he said yesterday after his new Glasgow deal was announced. “Everyone was just stuck in their places. At the time I lived by myself, and I struggled with not knowing what was going on or when we’d be back doing anything.

“I lost the plot for 10 days, two weeks. I ended up being pretty much nocturnal - I was just staying up all night and sleeping during the day.

“I was playing the PlayStation with some of the boys actually, and it’s the thing that sticks in my mind because from then on I had a change of mindset. I’d had four or five beers or something, and it was like four in the afternoon, and a couple of the lads were like ‘What are you doing? Why? Sort yourself out.’

“And at that point I was like ‘Right, OK, what am I doing?’. I set my alarm for nine o’clock the next morning to go out for a run and from then I got the running bug and I sorted myself out.

“It was like a switch had been flicked. And from that moment, when we started to get back into rugby I was obviously in good shape and was able to fulfil my role as a nine and enjoy my job and being back around the boys.

“I met my girlfriend and she moved in and things are good. I don’t really know if that one moment way back is what triggered it all - there’s been a number of steps that have helped me grow up off the field and helped me on the field too.”

Price could easily have had many offers of alternative employment if he had decided to leave Glasgow, but for the time being at least he is happy to stay put, and believes that he can continue to improve as a player in the environment that has served him so well throughout his career to date.

“For me, everything I’ve managed to achieve in my career has come from being a Glasgow player and living in the city,” he continued. “I came up here as a 20-year-old, so my whole adult career I’ve been at Glasgow.

“I don’t always think you necessarily have to go wandering, so I was delighted to carry on up here. It’s very easy to say ‘I want to go to here or to France’, but for me it had to be the right place. I still see progression in me and can see me being able to do that at Glasgow. That’s the exciting thing.”

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