On this day in 2013 – Mike Blair announces retirement from international rugby

Former Scotland captain Mike Blair announced his retirement from international rugby on this day in 2013.

Blair made the decision in order to focus on life in France, where he was playing for Brive, while also allowing Scotland to uncover fresh options at scrum-half in time for the 2015 World Cup.

Stepping down from the world stage as a 31-year-old, he remains Scotland’s most-capped scrum-half with 85 appearances and their fifth-most-capped player, while also leading the side 14 times.

Mike Blair was a late call up to the 2009 Lions tour to South Africa
Mike Blair was a late call-up to the 2009 Lions tour to South Africa (David Davies/PA)

“I’m in the very fortunate position of being able to decide myself when my international career ends. For me, that time is now,” said Blair, who retired despite remaining a regular starter.

“The fact that I still feel attuned to playing at international level has made
the decision harder, but it’s not been reached lightly and I’m very confident
that it’s the right decision.”

The 2009 British and Irish Lions tourist spent only one season at Brive and after two years with Newcastle, he joined Glasgow before his playing career ended in 2016.