Robinson On Connacht Challenge

Andy Robinson revealed the reasoning behind his decision to hand David Blair his first professional start in Edinburgh's match at Connacht on Friday night and also outlined the long-term direction of the club's playing staff.

Blair, 22, will start at stand-off alongside elder brother Mike, the Scotland scrum-half, and head coach Robinson admits if he thinks young players are worthy of selection then he will give them a chance to play first team rugby.

Robinson said: "It is an important statement from me " if young players are good enough then they will be given opportunities.

'david's selection takes nothing away from Phil Godman and Ali Warnock and the way they have played. But I want to see what David Blair can do. I think with the international players coming back it was right to give him that opportunity.

"He has been training well and playing well for Edinburgh Accies, so it is a good opportunity."

Robinson's primary task in ensuring Edinburgh chalk up their opening away win of the Magners League season, but the 43-year-old revealed he has also set his sights on longer term goals.

He added: "We are working on two aspects at the moment; the long term plan which involves skill development and the development of how we want to play the game. That will take time to achieve that, but we are moving forward.

"It is great to have the international players back and to have whole squad integrated into what we are trying to achieve.

'the short term goal is to win the game at Connacht. But Connacht are a tough side. I"ve been impressed with the way they"ve been playing this year.

'they"ve got experienced players in their line-up and playing any team away from home is always a tough ask. But if we want put ourselves up there in terms of how we want to perform and in order to do well in this league then we are going to have to win our away games."