On this day, in 2013, former Scotland national team captain Mike Blair declared his retirement from international rugby. Blair wanted to concentrate on his new life in France at the age of 31, while giving Scotland the chance to develop new talents at scrum-half ahead of the 2015 World Cup.
On the summer tour against Samoa just six months earlier, the Brive player had captained his country for the 14th and final time, but opted to leave the international arena despite being frequently selected. Mike Blair, center, made 85 appearances for Scotland (Anthony Devlin/PA) The most capped scrum-half of Scotland, who left Edinburgh last summer, said in a statement, “I am in the fortunate position of being able to decide for myself when my international career ends. There is no doubt that our family’s move to France played a part in my decision. Our son Rory is now at school here and we have an 11-week-old daughter, Lucy, who was born in Brive. ” “For me, a place in the 2015 Rugby World Cup squad is not a realistic personal goal and, with that in mind, it is right for Scottish rugby and the Scottish team that other players gain experience in a key position. The fact that I am still comfortable at international level has made the decision harder, but I have not taken it lightly and I am very confident it is the right decision. ” In 2002, he made his debut against Canada for Scotland, having represented his country at prep, U19, U21, Sevens and senior level. “I thoroughly enjoyed representing my country for more than 10 years and will miss the exhilarating feeling of performing in front of a big crowd and having the whole country behind you,” he said. Blair moved to Newcastle later that year before ending his Glasgow career in 2016.