Glasgow scrum-halves might be leaving the building on loan deals or in moon boots but George Horne remains a reliable and constant presence.

The Scotland international was front and centre once more on Saturday night as Warriors ran up another URC victory over Benetton, Horne involved in two of the first three tries and then scoring the fourth himself to land a precious bonus point.

By that point the 28 year-old was operating out on the wing, again underlining his versatility and importance to head coach Franco Smith during a period of turbulence around the number 9 role.

The questionable decision to allow Ali Price to join rivals Edinburgh on loan was hastily compounded by the ankle injury sustained by Jamie Dobie that required surgery. Dobie won’t be seen in a Glasgow shirt again for at least three months.

If any sort of positive can be drawn out from such a wretched situation it is that Horne now gets to enjoy a run of starts - at least until reinforcements arrive, that Smith hinted might not be too far away.

With only Sean Kennedy as back-up, the 32 year-old fringe figure who has barely figured over the last few years, Warriors will need Horne to keep fit and firing for as long as he can. The player is more than happy to oblige.

“It’s nice to be sticking around,” he said. “I love playing for Glasgow and hopefully I manage to show that when I’m out there. I’m just delighted that I’m still here and I can’t wait for the rest of the season.

“You want to start every week, regardless of who is fit and who is around. Obviously I was gutted for Jamie last week, going down, but thankfully he’s had his operation and he is going to be back on the mend. 

“Sheeba [Kennedy] was outstanding on Saturday night, so there is still pressure on and competition for places. I’m just excited: if I get a run of starts, I’ll give my all to the team and hopefully put us in a good place come Europe and the Edinburgh games.”

Those 1872 Cup derbies will have an extra edge now with Price vs Horne a tasty sub-plot – although others like Ben Vellacott might have something to say about that.

Horne admits it was a “shock” to see Price move along the M8 but believes the former British Lion will make the most of the opportunity.

“I guess I was surprised,” said the former Howe of Fife man. “There has always been a bit of chat around the scrum-half situation at Glasgow and the potential for someone to move across.

“It was still a shock. Ali has played 130-odd games for us, has so many caps for Scotland, has played for the Lions and done so much. For it to be him, it was a weird one, but these things happen and we just have to get on with it.

“I’ve not actually managed to speak to him. I was on a week off last week when it came out. I maybe need to give him some stick for moving across.

“He came on for Edinburgh on Friday night and did his thing; he controlled the game so well and got them a win. I don’t know if I was too happy about that so I’ll maybe have to give him a bit of stick at some stage!

“It would be an interesting head-to-head, having been team-mates for so long and competed for a Glasgow jersey and stuff. We always put the team first, but it would be interesting to play against each other for sure.”

Smith was disappointed to lose Price but continues to be grateful to have Horne around.

“He’s always been impressive,” said the South African. “It was maybe even more the case on Saturday night because one feels there’s not anyone else that can replace him. But I thought Sean Kennedy was excellent when he came on - there was a lot more control from his side.

“He’s been here four years and played 25 games. He’s maybe been an unseen diamond. We’re going to keep working with him. For Ben Afshar’s development, I don’t need to heap a lot of pressure on him at the moment. The first thing is to iron all his skillsets out and then slowly but surely expose him to what is needed.”

Smith was coy about how far he had got in his pursuit of scrum-half help although, reading between the lines, it sounds like another No. 9 will be checking in at Scotstoun sooner rather than later.

“Yes, I don’t know, maybe,” he replied rather unconvincingly when he asked if progress had been made. “The right comment would be that we are working on it. We realise the situation and the challenge around it.”