Mike Blair linked with Newcastle

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Former Scotland scrum-half Mike Blair could be set for a return to Britain. According to reports in the French media, Brive will not be extending his contract due to budgetary constraints, writes Colin Renton.

Scotland’s most-capped No.9 has started 12 times for Brive and been a substitute on eight occasions, scoring one try, as they have recovered from a mixed start to the season to launch a sustained bid for a return to the Top 14. They occupied fourth place in the ProD2 table ahead of today’s trip to face Colomiers, meaning the club remains on track for a place in the promotion play-offs. Blair, 31, turned down higher offers from elsewhere before signing a one-year contract at Brive, with an option for a further year, when he left Edinburgh last summer.

Blair has been linked with a move to Newcastle Falcons, who are poised for promotion to the Aviva premiership. Should the transfer proceed, it would create an interesting contest for the scrum-half berth at Falcons as it would renew Blair’s rivalry with Rory Lawson. The pair were team-mates at Edinburgh before Lawson’s departure for Gloucester in 2006.