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Clubs' Euro joy is a boost for Scots: Blair

Real confidence: Mike Blair is thrilled with the Scottish clubs
Real confidence: Mike Blair is thrilled with the Scottish clubs

By Andy Newport

Scotland assistant coach Mike Blair has already noticed a positive effect from the "historic" European achievements of Glasgow and Edinburgh.

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But Blair expects the home-based players in the frame for Six Nations action to move on quickly from their qualification for the Champions Cup quarter-finals and target even greater success.

Edinburgh's victory over Montpellier on Friday secured top spot in Pool 5 and a home quarter-final against Munster, while also ensuring Warriors finished as one of the three best runners-up, which earned them a trip to face Saracens.

"It's brilliant," said Blair, who played in Edinburgh's 22-19 Heineken Cup semi-final defeat by Ulster in 2012. "The knock-on effect for the guys coming in, they have smiles on their faces and a bump in their step.

"For Scottish rugby as a whole, it's a huge thing. It's historic.

"But you see with the guys from Glasgow and Edinburgh, they don't want to see that as the end of the run. They want to push for bigger things, to get into the semi-finals and the final. And to do that it would be great to be performing well for Scotland in that time as well.

"Edinburgh and Glasgow have got varying styles so with Scotland we are in a great situation where we can pull a bit from each team and try and find that perfect blend that suits our guys.

"There is confidence in the group but it's a mature group. Not necessarily in terms of age and caps, but these guys understand what it takes to win at the highest level.

"So the guys want to push the club stuff to the back of their minds and focus on what we are doing here. It gives you confidence in your ability, but at the same time the players will know how they got into that situation of playing well in Europe."

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