Scotland and Glasgow Warriors hooker George Turner being linked with a move to Japan to join Kobe Steelers is bad news for club and country.

With the budgets of Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors to be cut next season from their present record level of around £8m each- the English salary cap will be £6.4m for the next campaign - expect more current Scotland internationals to be on the shopping list of other cash-rich clubs.

Such is Turner’s importance to the Scottish cause you would like to think those within the corridors of power at Murrayfield would find the money from somewhere to keep him but that is no foregone conclusion.

What makes him a special case is that he is Scotland’s first-choice hooker but won’t be able to continue his international career if he moves to Japan whether he likes it or not.

Normally players move there for a big pay day at the end of their career - former Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw a case in point - but for Turner to be considering a move there now is worrying.

He is still only 31 years old and former Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie, who is in charge at Kobe Steelers where one of his assistants is former Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair, has been trying to get him to sign for his Japanese club for two months.

Scotland Rugby News: Former Glasgow coach Dave Rennie is understood to want Turner to move to JapanFormer Glasgow coach Dave Rennie is understood to want Turner to move to Japan (Image: SNS)

What has brought things to a head is that it is my understanding that Turner has to give an answer within the fortnight as to whether he will be staying at Glasgow next season or moving to Japan. 

He has plenty of time to think about what he is going to do as he is currently sidelined with a broken bone in his foot that could keep him out of action for another six weeks.

As things stand the club won’t comment on his future and Turner’s agent has not returned an approach from me to discuss his clients plans.

You can’t blame the Scotland front row player for considering such a financially lucrative offer but it is his possible destination that set alarm bells ringing for Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend who won’t want Rennie - or any other Japanese club coach - trying to lure away his current internationals.

Moving to England or France allows players to still represent Scotland with not much difficulty as Finn Russell at Bath, Ben White at Toulon and Blair Kinghorn at Toulouse have shown but Japan is a completely different proposition.

The time zone is different, the season out of kilter with the Six Nations, the standard of club rugby much lower than here and the travel back and forth from Japan to Scotland for international games tiring.

It’s more than likely that Townsend won’t pick him for the reasons above. It will be a case of out of sight, out of mind for Turner who still has a good few years left in him yet at the top level.

Him leaving would be a massive blow for Glasgow and Scotland.

At club level 34-year-old Fraser Brown, who has been plagued by injury this season, may leave the club in the summer and if that happens it means the Warriors lose their two most experienced hookers at the same time.

Liverpudlian Johnny Matthews, 30, who had to go off with an ankle injury in the 21-10 win over the Sharks at Scotstoun on Friday evening, is a fans' favourite but will be away a lot with the Scotland national side next season.

Scotland Rugby News: Johnny Matthews was injured playing for Glasgow against The SharksJohnny Matthews was injured playing for Glasgow against The Sharks (Image: SNS)

That puts a lot of pressure on Gregor Hiddleston to step up but he is only 22 years old, and although he has massive potential he can’t be rushed. Dundonian Angus Fraser is the other option at hooker for Glasgow.

Turner remains first choice with Scotland with Ewan Ashman the next cab on the rank. The Edinburgh hooker represents the future at 24 years old but isn’t in the same class as Turner just yet. 

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Ashman’s Edinburgh team-mate David Cherry, 33, could have been in the frame, but he hit his head after falling down the stairs of the Scotland team hotel during the World Cup in France and was sent home to recover and hasn’t played for his country since. 

Some may argue if Turner goes to Japan it is just because he knows Rennie and Blair and will be paid well at Kobe Steelers but there is a bigger picture to be looked at.

Losing a current Scotland international is a bad look and a major blow for Scottish Rugby and if Turner goes and makes a success of his time there others may follow. That’s the last thing anybody involved in Scottish rugby wants to happen.