Gerwyn Price aims to impress against Dragons
GERWYN Price feels no bitterness towards Newport Gwent Dragons for not giving him a contract, but the ex-Cross Keys favourite hopes to impress against them on Friday.
The 27-year-old hooker from Markham enjoyed an excellent professional debut for Glasgow Warriors in their 36-20 PRO12 win over Zebre in Parma on Sunday.
It has been a whirlwind past few days for former Pandy Park star Price, who was signed by the high-flying Scottish club just earlier this month.
After leaving his job as a house insulation sub contractor and only arriving in Glasgow nine days ago, he was boarding a plane bound for Italy on the weekend.
And this week he is likely to be jetting off again and is set to face the Dragons at Rodney Parade as the second in the table Warriors look to continue their impressive league form.
On being asked if he wanted to show the Dragons what they were missing following their failure to sign him after he trained with them in the summer, Price replied: “I’m not worried about that but I want to play well to prove it to myself.
“I might not start on Friday but I think I might be involved.
“It would have been great to play professional rugby in Wales but that’s just the way it is.”
Price had a fine all round game in his 59 minutes after starting against Zebre, throwing into the lineout well, making several good carries and putting in some thumping tackles.
“I found the pace of the game faster than playing semi-professional rugby but the physicality was roughly the same – I didn’t feel a major shift,” he said.
“After a scrappy opening, I thought it went pretty well for us and we won the second half 19-0.”
What was it like playing against Italian greats like lock Marco Bortolami and back rower Mauro Bergamasco?
“I was a bit disappointed with Bergamasco because he seemed to spend the game just trying to wind people up,” he said.
Price has settled well in Glasgow and is enjoying life as a pro.
“It’s going really well and the Warriors have been really welcoming to me,” he said.
“I’d only arrived in Glasgow last Monday and played in a training game on the Tuesday.
“I thought I may be on the bench for Zebre but I was a bit shocked to be starting in Italy.”
One of the ways Price was brought to the attention of Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend was due to Glasgow analyst Gavin Vaughan, the pair knowing each other from their time at former club Neath.
And ex-Ebbw Vale boss Pat Horgan, now coaching the Welsh All Blacks, also played a part in his rise after being asked his opinion of Price by the Scottish side.
“Pat has texted me to say, ‘you owe me one,’” he said.
Price has had to make a big sacrifice in leaving his family to pursue his professional dream, with his partner Bethan Palmer and their two daughters, Emily, five, and Bethany, two, remaining in Wales.
He will get a chance to see his family this weekend because he will be making the long drive back to Glasgow in his own car rather than flying back with the team.
And there will be a huge Markham contingent at Rodney Parade on Friday night to cheer him on.
“I think the whole village will be there and I’m sure they’ll all be supporting Glasgow!” he said.