Blair Lands Professional Contract

ImageDavid Blair admits he is thrilled to have signed a professional contract with Edinburgh and revealed he is aiming to celebrate the occasion by scoring some points against Leinster at Murrayfield in the Heineken Cup on Saturday (15 December, kick off 3.30pm).

The 22-year-old stand-off is the latest graduate from Scotland's National Academy set-up and he has been rewarded with a contract until the summer of 2009 in the professional ranks after a series of convincing displays.

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Blair has scored 30 points at first team level since making his debut at Connacht in October and has formed a half-back combination alongside his elder brother, Scotland international Mike.

And he admits that once he left Sale Sharks in the summer there was only place he wanted to play rugby; for his hometown team, Edinburgh.

Blair said: "It was a dream move for me to come back home to play for Edinburgh. I was born and brought up in the city and I have a special affinity with the place.

"Once I knew I was going to leave Sale there was only one team I wanted to play for and fortunately it has happened.

"Obviously it would be perfect if I could mark the achievement with some points to help Edinburgh beat Leinster on Saturday, but we"ll have to wait and see.

"I"m very happy to have signed a professional contract with Edinburgh. The move started all the way back in June when I first looked at the opportunity.

'since then I have gained a lot from working with the National Academy and my local club, Edinburgh Academicals before being handed a contract."

National Academy Manager Stephen Gemmell highlighted Blair's progress and hinted that more promising youngsters are set to roll off Scotland's revered production line of talent in the near future.

Gemmell said: "I think David has shown since he has been with Edinburgh that he is more than capable of playing at that level.

"I think his contract is thoroughly deserved because of his attitude and application. With respect to the National Academy, it is evidence that our structure works.

'the close links we have with both Edinburgh and Glasgow means that we know we can produce young players that are good enough to make the step up to not only play in that environment, but to also perform well.

"I think in the short time he has been involved with the Academy, David has benefited. Credit to him, he has been able it grasp the opportunity with both hands.

"He developed as a player down at Sale, but he was probably started to stagnate a little bit. So the change has come at the right time for him and I look forward to him flourishing at Edinburgh and progressing in his career."