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Blair’s positive for Scotland

Mike Blair yesterday shrugged off concerns over Scotland's controversial team selection for Sunday's RBS 6 Nations opener against Wales by insisting he has not noticed any drop in public excitement about the match.

Head coach Frank Hadden's decision to play Simon Webster ahead of in-form winger Thom Evans, Hugo Southwell at full-back ahead of record point scorer Chris Paterson, and Allister Hogg at blindside flanker ahead of the impressive Al Strokosch, has been a hot topic for discussion.

But Scotland captain Blair reckons enthusiasm for the tournament is just as intense as it was before the start of last season's competition.

Edinburgh scrum-half Blair said: "We are in a similar situation to the one we were in last year, but we've got a bit more experience in the squad now and our performances in the autumn show that we have moved on from where we were in the last Six Nations."

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