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Scotland Rugby
Paterson hails "great" Blair
ESPN Staff
January 8, 2013
Mike Blair of Scotland tackles Liam Messam of New Zealand during the Autumn Test at Murrayfield stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland on November 8, 2008.
Mike Blair won 85 caps for Scotland © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Mike Blair | Chris Paterson
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Chris Paterson hailed Mike Blair as a Scotland great after the former national team captain retired from the international stage.

Blair called time on his career at the age of 31 after amassing 85 caps, a record for a Scotland scrum-half. The former Edinburgh captain revealed his decision was based mainly on family reasons and a desire to see Scotland introduce new scrum-half talent before the 2015 World Cup.

And his former club and country team-mate Paterson paid tribute to his friend's 10-year contribution to Scotland.

Paterson, Scotland's record points scorer and cap holder, said: "Mike was one of the most gifted and naturally skilful players I ever played alongside. His ability to read a game and make the correct decision was brilliant.

"He was razor-sharp in attack and his defence, especially when chasing back and cover tackling, showed how tough a player he was.

"I think he was involved in every match-day Scotland squad, when available for selection, for a decade, which is a real reflection of how good a player Mike was - a great Scottish internationalist."

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