Glasgow Warriors scrum-half Ali Price has promised that Glasgow Warriors will feed off the disappointment and frustration of Friday night’s Challenge Cup final demolition at the hands of Toulon in Dublin to come back stronger next season.

It was always going to be a tough mission against a star-studded French outfit who felt they had a point to prove having fallen at the last hurdle in this competition on four previous occasions, including last season, but the meek manner of Glasgow’s capitulation was startling.

Franco Smith’s side did not fire a shot until captain Kyle Steyn scored the first of his team’s three tries midway through the second half, but by that point they were already 24-0 down and Toulon comfortably kept them at arm’s length for the remainder of the match, to ultimately run out 43-19 victors.

“It’s the first final I’ve been involved in and it was absolutely gutting to be out there clapping politely while the Toulon boys celebrated,” said Price, who started the game on the bench but made an instant impact after replacing Sebastian Cancelliere in the 53rd minute, laying on the pass which sent Steyn over for that opening score.

“I was there back in 2015 as a travelling reserve when Glasgow won the league and it was a special day for the club, We had that chance on Friday to create our own bit of history, but it wasn’t to be.

“It’s not how we wanted to end at all, in terms of our performance, but if you look at the bigger picture of where we started and how the year has gone, I think we can be immensely proud of the team we’re becoming and some of the performances we have put in to get to this point.”

Warriors won 16 and drew one out of the 18 games played between the start of December and the end of April, which represents a remarkable transformation from the end of the 2021-22 season when a miserable run of results reached its nadir with a 76-15 hammering by Leinster, which cost former head coach Danny Wilson his job.

However, the cold reality is that when push came to shove, they could not replicate their regular season form in knock-out matches against top opposition, having also lost at home to Munster in the play-off quarter-finals of the URC at the start of this month.

They did beat Scarlets away in the semi-final of the Challenge Cup, but that is a side who finished 14th in the URC this season.

“In a standalone, one-off game, we didn’t perform at our best and so from that point of view it’s disappointing,” conceded Price. “But to get here, and how we have performed throughout the course of the year, it’s incredibly encouraging.

“Someone pulled a stat out after the game that 96 per cent of the squad will still be here next year so it’s the same group.

“We’ve got the hurt from this, and we know what we can achieve if we get it right. That’s the exciting thing – you don’t make finals every year and this one has passed us by. The challenge is to get to another one next season.

“Everyone says that getting to a final is one thing, winning it is a different level and we didn’t have it in us to get the job done on Friday. It’s a shame but we’ll be better for it.”

Before that, Price has Scotland’s World Cup preparation to focus in on, when he will compete against Ben White, the national team’s current first choice No.9, George Horne, first choice at Warriors, and Jamie Dobie, another Warriors team-mate, for one of three places in the final squad which will travel to France in the Autumn.

“I have a little break of two weeks before we get into it,” he said. “Franco said he’s incredibly proud of the whole group. He knows a large amount of us are going into World Cup camps for various nations, and he said to represent ourselves in the best way possible, show how we work, day-in and day-out at Glasgow, and put that same work ethic into our national squads.

“He told us to play to our potential, try to shine on the brightest stage then come back fit and ready to take on next season.”