Rugby: French side Brive set to sign Blair

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Mike BLAIR will be seeking to retain his Scotland and Lions rugby place while playing in the French Second Division next season, according to reports from across the Channel today.

French media are heavily linking the 80-times capped scrum-half with a move to Brive, who won the Heineken Cup in 1997 but are now desperate to regain former glories after relegation.

The acquisition of 31-year-old Blair, who is currently with the Scotland squad in Australia, where he will be looking to hold down his Test spot for the fourth successive match when the Wallabies are encountered tomorrow week, is seen as a key move towards gaining quick promotion back to the French top 14. It is believed Blair had an opportunity to remain with Edinburgh but stayed true to remarks made some time ago that he would regret not sampling professional rugby outwith his home city before retiring.

Until recently Perpignan were regarding as leading the race for Blair and there was also speculation concerning a move to Super 15 side Western Force.

However, Brive are expected to prevail with a contract understood to run for one year with the option of a further 12 months.