Mike Blair: Important for Scotland to step up as pro-teams struggle

Mike Blair has stressed the importance of Scotland continuing to flourish while our pro sides struggle to cope without their international contingent.

Edinburgh have found the going tough this season without their international contingent. Picture: Ross Parker / SNS

Both Edinburgh and Glasgow are at the bottom end of their respective Pro14 Conferences while the Irish provinces are flying high.

The two national sides meet in Dublin today and Scotland assistant coach Blair is keen for the visitors to who the importance of the pro-team players to the national side.

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“You look at the Pro14 at the moment and three of the four Irish teams are unbeaten and the Scottish clubs have struggled a little bit,” said Blair. “So it’s really important our national team steps up and makes the most of the resources we’ve got.”

Edinburgh and Glasgow supply the bulk of the players to the Scotland squad and both have toiled during this extended international window, with each losing five of their first seven Pro14 fixtures.

Ireland, with four professional sides, are able to spread the load a bit more, meaning each team does not suffer such a hemorrhaging of talent when the national side plays.

“They’ve probably got that better pathway at the moment for bringing players through so the job we do and the job the pro teams do to bring through these players through as quickly as possible is absolutely key,” added Blair.

“I think Ireland we still see themselves as ahead of us, certainly in the world rankings, but we feel we have done well in this campaign without really showing what we’re capable of.”

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