Blair absent from Accies’ Cup quarter-final with Aberdeen

Alex Blair. Pic: Jane Barlow
Alex Blair. Pic: Jane Barlow
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Alex Blair misses Accies’ re-arranged Scottish Cup quarter-final tie at home to Aberdeen Grammar FPs tomorrow and could be on the brink of a shock return to the pro scene.

The younger brother of former Scotland captain, Mike, was released by Edinburgh for treatment to a back complaint, and then a jaw injury interrupted a another trial stint.

However, the A internationalist, who has made one RaboDirect Pro 12 start, was back at Murrayfield this week and, with resources stretched due to the Six Nations, could be in line for a place in Edinburgh’s squad again.

Meanwhile, Accies coach Jonny Else, who lists Blair simply as “unavailable”, is delighted to have call upon Scotland sevens cap, Chris Dean, on the wing.

Dean, 19, captained Edinburgh Academy to three Scottish schools cups and subsequently moved to the national sevens team, playing in the World Cup last year where he scored Scotland’s first try of the tournament in Russia.

Compared to when last week’s match was postponed, Accies have lost former Tonga hooker Aleki Lutui back to Edinburgh but second row Greg Campbell is fit. Ruaridh Bonner takes the stand-off spot in Blair’s absence while Hamish Watson, Alex Toolis and Alex Black are released by Edinburgh.

Aberdeen have twice travelled to the Capital in the past three weeks only to have a wasted journey. However, coach Kevin Wyness believes inspiration can be taken from the city’s football club who won at Tynecastle recently in the League Cup semi-final. “Aberdeen’s performance in the League Cup and victory against Celtic has lifted the spirits of the city.

“The Dons were triumphant on their last visit to the Capital and we’ll be doing everything we can to be leaving Edinburgh with our name firmly in the draw for the next round of the cup,” warned Wyness.

“Our cup form has been one of the positives from what has been a tough season and we’re looking to continue that in what will be a very difficult game against a good Accies side.

“We have a chance to put our relegation worries to one side for 80 minutes and it’s safe to say that we are fully committed to what is one of our biggest games of the season so far.”