Coach Q&A: Mike Blair
What was your most memorable game for Scotland?
The most memorable game was probably my first home game as captain for Scotland when we beat England at BT Murrayfield in 2008. I didn’t particularly enjoy the game as it was wet and windy, but I definitely enjoyed the result.
Who was your inspiration growing up?
I went to my first Scotland game in 1989 so was fortunate with my timing in that the following year Scotland won the Grand Slam, so players from that team – Gary Armstrong, Fin Calder, David Sole and Gavin Hastings were players that I pretended to be in the back garden.
Favourite Scotland kit you ever wore?
Probably at the start of my international career when the style was to wear them a bit looser…
How do you keep fit now that you’re not playing professionally?
The nature of my job means that I am running around a fair bit at training. Apart from that I play the occasional game of touch down at Raeburn Place or a bit of 5-a-side football with some dads from my kids’ school.
Any hobbies outside of rugby?
When I’ve got free time I’ll spend it with my family – wife, Viv and our two kids, Rory and Lucy, and our dog, Titou. I’ll play a couple of rounds of golf in the summer too.
Do you think scotland currently has good depth at scrum-half?
Definitely. We’ve got a great blend of 9’s available to us and they’ve all got a great work ethic to learn and improve.
How does coaching compare to playing international rugby?
They are very different! I didn’t ever really feel too stressed when I was on the pitch as a player but as a coach I’m definitely more concerned that things are out of my hands and I’m less in control!
What actor would play you in a movie?
I’d want to upgrade myself so Matt Damon or Leo di Caprio could step in.
Playing Toulouse in the early 2000s was really tough but great fun as well. They played a great brand of offloading rugby but had some hard players too like Cristian Labit and the Maka brothers.
What’s your favourite food?
If I was eating out, I’d go to Fazenda on George Street for a Brazilian meat feast and eating at home I love a fried breakfast with all the trimmings!