Norfolk-born Ali Price on the verge of huge Six Nations opportunity with Scotland
- Credit: PA
He may have been born in Norfolk but scrum-half Ali Price has been pitched into the thick of Six Nations battle for Scotland and is on the verge of the biggest opportunity of his young career.
The 23-year-old former West Norfolk RUFC junior, born in King's Lynn, earned his first cap against Georgia at the end of last year but faced a much higher level challenge on Sunday.
The Glasgow Warriors half-back had to replace Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw in the 25th minute of a vital Six Nations clash against France in Paris.
Price, who qualifies due to his mother's nationality, was then in the thick of the action as a spirited Scottish effort ran out of steam to end in a 22-16 defeat at the Stade de France.
Scotland had three captains during the course of the game, with Jonny Gray ultimately taking the armband after Laidlaw and John Barclay went off injured.
Barclay's replacement, John Hardie, also went off hurt in a bruising encounter along with the likes of Allan Dell, Fraser Brown and Alex Dunbar, the latter temporarily.
Head coach Vern Cotter feels they will take valuable experience from being made to adapt to losing key players though, as he waits for news of Laidlaw's fitness, who left the stadium on crutches.
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'There will be key things to come from it,' Cotter said. 'I thought Ali stepped in well. John Barclay was captain and he went off and Jonny became captain.
'All the guys dipped in well. It wasn't perfect but there was a good team opposite us.'
Price featured in a fantasy XV of players with Norfolk links in the latest edition of our local rugby magazine, Up & Under. You can pick up a free copy at your local club but here are the players who made our professional XV...
1 Tom West (Wasps)
Former Diss junior helped England U20s win the world title last summer and enjoyed his first senior involvement in the Anglo-Welsh Cup in November. The 20-year-old prop is spending the bulk of his season on loan at Nottingham in the Championship.
2 Tom Youngs (Leicester)
Our hooker needs little introduction, even if he is out of favour with England. Captain at Tigers this season, toured Australia with British & Irish Lions in 2013 and has 28 England caps.
3 Jonny Harris (London Scottish)
Former England U19 international joined Scottish after three years with London Irish and has featured regularly in the Championship this season. The 26-year-old prop played for Swaffham and North Walsham as a junior before joining Leicester.
4 Calum Green (Newcastle)
Premiership regular for Falcons after leaving Leicester in 2012 and becoming a regular at Leeds Carnegie. The 26-year-old represented England at U20 level after playing for Norwich and North Walsham as a junior.
5 Mike Howard (Bedford)
Lock has been with Blues since 2008, having previously played for Diss and North Walsham, and has made over 200 appearances for the Championship club.
6 Will Owen (Leicester)
Former England U17, 18, 19 and U20 flanker is on dual-registration with Doncaster in the Championship but made his senior Tigers debut last month. Ipswich-born 21-year-old played for Diss as a youngster.
7 Will Evans (Leicester)
Despite just turning 20 years old, has played regularly in the Premiership this season and even made an England training squad at the start of the season. Former Wymondham junior played a key role in England U20s winning world title last summer.
8 Ben Pienaar (Chinnor)
The 30-year-old former North Walsham junior was captain of London Welsh in the Championship this season but has just joined National Two South title challengers Chinnor after the Exiles went into liquidation.
9 Ben Youngs (Leicester)
Like his older brother, barely needs introduction. Scrum-half has racked up a remarkable 67 international caps at just 27 years old.
10 Ali Price (Glasgow)
King's Lynn-born scrum-half slots in to our XV at fly-half. The 23-year-old qualifies for Scotland through his mother and won his first cap in November.
11 George North (Northampton)
A decorated Wales international but was actually born in King's Lynn. Moved to North Wales at two years old and, now aged 24, has 67 Wales caps and a Lions tour under his belt.
12 Charlie Clare (Northampton)
No room for Charlie in the front row so the former North Walsham and Holt junior is going to have to try his luck at centre for us. The Norwich-born hooker signed for Saints from Bedford in the summer and has featured regularly this season.
13 George Catchpole (Leicester)
Former North Walsham junior, a 23-year-old former England U20 centre, has scored two tries in four games for Tigers this season.
14 Toby Salmon (Rotherham)
Recently earned an eye-catching move to Premiership side Exeter Chiefs after impressing in the second row for Titans in recent seasons. We've made use of the big man's pace to squeeze him into our fantasy XV. The 23-year-old former North Walsham player was previously with London Irish.
15 George Worth (Leicester)
Former Wymondham College pupil, from Peterborough, has been thrust into action regularly for Tigers this season due to injury problems in the back division.