Blair Named Scotland Captain

Blair Named Scotland Captain

Mike Blair is to continue to captain Scotland into next month’s Bank of Scotland Corporate Autumn Tests._The 27-year-old Edinburgh skipper has already led his country on five occasions since being handed the captain’s role against Ireland during last season’s RBS 6 Nations Championship._The announcement was made today by Scotland coach Frank Hadden, who also reported Scotland were now able to plan ahead with certainty for the Autumn Tests after the game’s worldwide governing body, the IRB, had clarified the access to Scottish internationalists based in English clubs.Hadden said: Experience and continuity are key factors in the international game and we believe Mike deserves the opportunity to build on his most recent contributions, both as a player and captain, to the Scotland team._’the games we have coming up next month are massively important for Scottish Rugby._ We face New Zealand, South Africa and Canada over three weeks and how we go in these contests will play a major part in determining our ranking for the 2011 Rugby World Cup draw in December._We also now have clarity on the access to our players who play with English clubs._ The IRB Regulations Committee has ruled that players selected for the Autumn Tests can join us to train on Monday 27 October._Now, we can crack on with our preparations for these vital matches._We accept the ruling and we will continue to articulate the case for a robust and workable regulation which underlines the pre-eminence of the international game, which is fundamental for the game’s worldwide development._Blair, nominated for the IRB Player of the Year, marked his 50th cap by leading Scotland to victory in Buenos Aires in June their historic first Test match success in Argentina._He is determined to move forward from that result and believes Scotland supporters can play their part in that desire._It’s a tremendous privilege to captain your country and I know from the first time I had that honour at Murrayfield earlier this year that the crowd can inspire us._Against England, when we had to dig that little bit deeper, the supporters were fantastic and it would be great if we could enjoy that level of vocal encouragement against the All Blacks, Springboks and Canada next month.

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