Rugby: Blair targets a speedy return to Scotland ranks after Brive appearance

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Scotland’s most capped scrum half, Mike Blair, has set sights on quickly recovering a place in the international starting line-up after returning from injury.

The 83-times capped Blair, a British and Irish Lion, had been sidelined by a shoulder injury but came off the bench for French club Brive after 50 minutes of the weekend 
victory over Auch to make a home debut.

It was 31-year-old Blair’s third appearance for the club he joined from Edinburgh immediately after returning from Scotland’s all conquering summer tour where he started against Australia and Fiji 
before substituting for 
Chris Cusiter against Samoa.

He said: “I have been in touch with Andy Robinson (Scotland’s coach). He has been supportive and I hope to play in the November Tests.”

The more action Blair gets will be increasingly welcomed by Robinson who has seen Chris Cusiter ruled out by injury until after the visits of New Zealand, South Africa and Tonga.

Blair admits it has not been the opening he would have liked to the latest phase of a career that saw him tour with the Lions in South Africa three years ago.

“Coming to a new club I was obviously disappointed that I couldn’t play because it is easier to gain the respect of team mates by proving yourself on the pitch.”

Brive’s 16-11 weekend win moves them up to ninth in the 16 team French Second 

“I feel that I have integrated but won’t feel that I have managed it completely until I have played a few matches.

“Everyone at the club has been fantastic but I have to gain respect on the pitch,” added Blair.