Sunday 18 March 2018

Blair insists time right to walk away from Scots

Former Scotland captain Mike Blair decided the time was right to quit international rugby for both his family and the national team.

The 31-year-old has announced his retirement in order to focus on his new life in France while allowing Scotland to blood new scrum-half talent before the 2015 World Cup.

Blair (right) captained his country for the 14th and final time just six months ago, in a summer Tour victory over Samoa.

Blair said: "I'm in the very fortunate position of being able to decide myself when my international career ends. For me, that time is now. "

Also hanging up his boots is Wales full-back Morgan Stoddart after failing to recover from a broken leg. The 28-year-old, capped eight times, sustained a double leg fracture against England in August 2011.

Elsewhere, England internationals past and present have voiced their support for Hendre Fourie after the former flanker revealed he is facing deportation to South Africa. The 33-year-old, whose 18-month-old son Hendro was born in England, has been in the country for eight years, playing for Rotherham, Leeds and Sale and winning eight caps for England.

However, he was forced to retire because of a shoulder injury and had his contract cancelled by the Sharks, meaning his visa is no longer valid.

Upon hearing of Fourie's plight, many of his peers took to Twitter and started a campaign to support him.

Irish Independent

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