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Mike Blair believes French sports teams will stand together

Glasgow Warriors' Mike Blair believes French sports teams will rally together in the wake of the Paris terrorist atrocities which left at least 129 dead.

The 34-year-old scrum half was in France with his team-mates on Friday night for their European Rugby Champions Cup opener against Racing 92, which had been due to take place at the Stade Yves-du-Manoir in Colombe outside Paris on Saturday afternoon, when the attacks across the city took place.

The French national football team were playing Germany at the Stade de France when three suicide bombers died in blasts outside the stadium and there was heavy security at Wembley stadium on Tuesday night for the England versus France friendly.

Blair, capped 85 times for Scotland, spent the 2012-13 season playing in France with Brive and he believes the French will react positively to the adversity.

"I think they will be incredibly passionate about winning the game of football," he said.

"Sport is something that brings people together, brings countries together and from my experience of playing in France, when there is something to play for an emotion involved, that's when a team really gets behind each other.

"I hope the English supporters and French supporters really enjoy the game tonight and get behind both teams."

Blair revealed that "everyone was 100 per cent behind that decision" to postpone the game.

He said: "We were fortunate that we were 40 minutes north of the city centre but obviously hearing about it on Friday night was a bit distressing and left us in limbo with what we were doing.

"Obviously people were thinking about everyone in Paris but at the same time wondering what was happening with our game.

"Originally they might have played it on the Sunday or the Monday but by half past 10 in the morning it wasn't happening and we were travelling back to the UK.

"It was a difficult weekend for everyone."

Blair and the rest of the Warriors players will have to re-focus for Saturday's Champions Cup fixture against Northampton Saints at Scotstoun.

He said: "The European campaign starts again. We were very focused on starting with an away victory in Paris last weekend and with the events that happened, we now start with a home game against Northampton in front of a sold-out ground.

"So from that point of view it is great that we start with a big home game against a top English side.

"Glasgow have a good record against English sides in Europe at home and I think everyone is looking forward to getting stuck in."


From Belfast Telegraph