Scotland Captain Mike Blair has been called up for the British and Irish Lions squad that travels to South Africa this summer. Blair has been called up to replace the unfortunate Thomas O’Leary who recently broke his leg playing for his club side Munster.
Blair, who plays for Edinburgh, was thought at the turn of the year to be a certain to travel South Africa. However a poor Six Nations campaign and unsure performances for his club side saw him not even make the travelling party. Blair has been a key part of the Edinburgh side that has recently gone on a five match winning streak and his performance in last weekends 43 – 3 defeat of the Dragons will have no doubt helped highlight what he can bring to the Lions party.
Fellow Scot Chris Cusiter was initially rumoured to be the front runner as a replacement but perhaps being stuck on the bench for Perpignan has hurt him (the same could be said for Dwayne Peel at Sale), while Blair has been able to take full part in Edinburgh’s recent string of consecutive victories. I am sure he will make a full contribution and if he finds the form of the autumn (where he made most of the Springbok team look a little ordinary at times) he definitely has the class and vision to be the test scrum half.
Blair will no doubt now want to push for a test place in the Lions team. His inclusion now ups the number of Scots in the Lions squad to a (still paltry) 3. All of us here would like to congratulate Mike on his call up and hope he’ll be able to do both himself and his country proud.