Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Scott pays tribute to Blair

Edinburgh centre Matt Scott insists retired Scotland scrum-half Mike Blair will go down as one of the nation's greatest rugby players.

Record-breaking number nine Blair retired from the international game on Monday after amassing 85 caps for his country. The 31-year-old made his decision following his summer switch from Edinburgh to Brive, claiming the stress that would come from travelling from France to play in the forthcoming RBS 6 Nations would be too much for his young family.

Former Murrayfield team-mate Scott is confident that Blair's legacy is already set in stone, and he told Press Association Sport: "Mike will go down as one of Scotland's all-time greats. He has 85 caps - more than any other Scotland scrum-half - and captained his country too."

He added: "He was also nominated for the World Player of the Year a few years back and I don't think any other Scotsman can say they've done the same, so there's no doubt that he will probably be remembered as the best scrum-half we've ever had.

"It's a shame he has decided to step down from the international game but travelling from France to play in the Six Nations is a big ask for him and his family and I can understand his reasons.

"I text him to say all the best because he's a guy I admire and a really nice person too. However, there's no doubt he'll be a big loss to Scotland."

Blair's departure from the capital has coincided with a massive downturn in Edinburgh's fortunes.

Michael Bradley's side stormed to the semi-finals of last season's Heineken Cup before losing to Ulster but this term has been a complete nightmare.

They sit bottom of Group 1 without a single point and lost their first two games against Saracens and Munster by a combined score of 78-0.

Things have hardly improved since then and they are currently enduring a five-game losing streak - which included the morale-crushing double defeat to rivals Glasgow over the festive period.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph