Blair eyeing historic win
Mike Blair believes the Murrayfield crowd can roar Scotland to a famous victory against the All Blacks on Saturday.
Last Updated: 10/11/10 7:58pm
Scotland captain Mike Blair believes the Murrayfield crowd can roar the home side to a famous victory when they face the mighty All Blacks on Saturday afternoon.
The 29-year-old scrum-half will attempt to lead his side to a historic triumph as they aim to beat New Zealand for the first time in 28 meetings.
Blair skippers Scotland for the 14th time in his 65th Test, despite never having started an international under Andy Robinson, who became head coach in the summer of 2009.
And the Edinburgh player believes he can be the man who leads the Scots, who have played New Zealand in 27 Tests since 1905 and are yet to triumph, to a famous win.
"Every Test match you go into, you go in to win," said Blair, who has made five substitute appearances under Robinson.
"It's the same against New Zealand. They are a fantastic side, we're going to have to work really hard at our game to put ourselves into that position, but I don't think there's any more incentive needed.
"We believe as a squad that if we can match the All Blacks' skill and intensity, that, with the Murrayfield crowd behind us, it can put us into a position where we can win a Test match against New Zealand."
Robinson led Scotland to victory over Australia for the first time in 27 years 12 months ago, while his side are unbeaten in the last four Tests - a draw with England and victory over Ireland in the RBS Six Nations, plus a first southern hemisphere series success, a 2-0 win over Argentina in June.
Blair's inclusion was as one of five changes to the starting XV from the series-clinching win over the Pumas on June 19 and the captain hopes Scotland can carry the momentum from their strong run into Saturday's encounter.
"As a squad we believe in our talent and ability," he added.
"The belief comes from a lot of different things - how you're training, how games have gone, form going into the Test matches - we've just got to put all of those things together on Saturday."
Rory Lawson, who played in the series win in Argentina, has been named on the bench as Blair's understudy, but 24 hours on the Gloucester number nine was forced to withdraw with a hand injury suffered playing for his club.
Uncapped Edinburgh number nine Greig Laidlaw, nephew of former Scotland and British and Irish Lions scrum-half Roy Laidlaw, has been called up to the replacements' bench.
With Glasgow Warriors scrum-half Chris Cusiter out injured, Scotland have a wealth of options at number nine and Blair is determined to prove his worth to the team after having limited opportunities in Robinson's tenure so far.
Blair said: "We've had a couple of injuries at scrum-half, but I've been really confident with how I've been playing.
"It is my first start under Andy Robinson, but I've been injured - there have been a number of factors that have come into it.
"At the moment this is my opportunity and you've just got to take it.
"I'm just delighted to get this opportunity now to hopefully show what I can do in the Scotland number nine shirt again and leading the guys out at Murrayfield."