Whatever challenges Danny Wilson faces as he looks to arrest the worrying decline in fortunes of Glasgow Warriors during the last 18 months, he is not short of scrum-half options at the moment.
In fact, so spoiled for choice is Wilson in that position that news yesterday of 19-year-old Jamie Dobie signing a contract extension with the club (for an unspecified period of time) is bound to increase speculation that the currently injured George Horne could be headed to pastures new when his contract runs out at the end of the season.
With Ali Price – who has matured in recent seasons into an important leader for both club and country – signed up until at least next summer, Dobie ready to kick-on with his pro career after 15 appearances to date since leaving school in the summer of 2019, and Sean Kennedy there to provide back-up having signed a new deal which will keep him at the club “for the foreseeable future” last week, Horne appears to be surplus to requirements.
In an ideal world, Wilson would certainly like to keep as many of his top players as possible on the books, but Covid has put finances under serious pressure in recent months so the departure of Horne would free-up some much-needed cash which can be redirected to other positions where there is not the same amount of depth.
Dobie has been earmarked as a player with a big future in the game since before his star turn when still a 16-year-old in the Scotland Under-18s team which won the Six Nations Festival in 2018. His blistering pace underpins a shrewd game-sense and tidy technique, and the high regard he is held in was demonstrated on Wednesday when Gregor Townsend invited him to train with the Scotland senior team next week as they begin their build-up to the Six Nations.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at the club, being part of the squad and being in the environment with the boys,” said Dobie. “I’ve spent a lot of time learning and it’s been great to have the top two scrum-halves in the country to learn from.
“Despite the results not going our way [this season], we’re moving in the right direction as a squad and as club, and I’m looking forward to being part of that for the next few years. I’m excited to continue to progress my game here.”
Wilson added: “Jamie is great young scrum-half. We’ve seen him step up in these last two seasons and show what he can do. He has shown a real maturity in how he directs players around the park, is a threat with ball in hand and his kicking game is developing well. We’re looking forward to seeing him continue to kick on and grow in a Warriors jersey.”