Robinson Keeps Faith With Rookie Blair

ImageEdinburgh head coach Andy Robinson has named an unchanged starting line-up for the club's Heineken Cup Pool Six match against Toulouse at Murrayfield on Saturday (10 November, kick off 3.30pm) with promising youngster David Blair retaining the role of stand-off.

Since being handed his Edinburgh debut two weeks ago, Blair, younger brother of Scotland and Edinburgh scrum-half Mike, has responded with some polished displays; including scoring 11 points at Munster.

As a result, Robinson revealed Blair's performances have warranted a starting spot against three-times Heineken Cup winners, Toulouse.

Robinson said: "I think David has been very assured in the way he has played. He has handled the pressure of two away games very well.

"He also has a 100% kicking record. He has controlled the game well, but has also shown very good leadership skills."

Robinson has also selected an unchanged back-three from the team that narrowly lost 19-16 at Munster last Saturday with Andrew Maxwell retaining his place on the wing.

Scotland winger Simon Webster, the player Maxwell replaced, is ruled out for the match after suffering a shin infection and Robinson is keen to point out that unless a player is completely match-fit then he won't be allocated the responsibility of wearing the shirt.

He added: "A loss of any player gives somebody else an opportunity. Maxy (Maxwell) came in last week at the last minute and performed well.

'this gives him an opportunity and this shows the depth of the Edinburgh squad. We have the ability to only select players who are 100% fit going into games."

Meanwhile Scotland back rower David Callam is named in the match 22 for the first time this season.

After returning from the World Cup, the 24-year-old underwent a clear-out operation on his knee and has been handed a place on the bench.


Edinburgh Rugby Club squad to play Stade Toulousain at Murrayfield (Saturday 10 November, kick-off 3.30pm)
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15 Hugo Southwell
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14 Andrew Turnbull
13 Ben Cairns
12 Nick De Luca
11 Andrew Maxwell
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10 David Blair*
9 Mike Blair
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1 Allan Jacobsen
2 Ross Ford
3 Gavin Kerr
4 Craig Hamilton
5 Ben Gissing
6 Allister Hogg (captain)
7 Ross Rennie
8 Simon Cross
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Substitutes: Andrew Kelly, Augusto Allori, Matt Mustchin, David Callam, Ben Meyer, Phil Godman, John Houston

*= Member of Scottish Rugby's Senior National Academy

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