Press Pass with Mike Blair

Press Pass with Mike Blair

Get the latest from Head Coach Mike Blair as he spoke with press in the build up to Friday's night's URC clash against Leinster at RDS Arena.

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On getting Scotland players back

"Its a funny one, as I'm on the other side of the fence now. With the national team, it's the national team's needs first and I'm really understanding of that because I know how it works - I know you need training numbers and quality opposition to do your training.

"As soon as we know exactly what we've got, then we'll plan from there. At the start of the week, it tends to be a sort of suck it and see and it's kind of an emotional as well as you'd like to have guys back, but the fact they are coming back means they are not involved with Scotland, and we want as many guys involved as possible.

"A lot of this period is around facilitating what the national team need, and if we get guys back, great, but if not other guys get opportunity which is great.

"Because our game isn't too late in Dublin, it's actually easier to travel to Cardiff from there, so we'll wait and see who that's going to be."


On Jamie Ritchie's injury

"We don't have too many details on his injury (hamstring) just yet, but once we hear from Dr James Robson and the national team, and he's back in with us, we'll be able to work out what length of time he'll be out for."

On the challenge of facing Leinster

"I've spoken about it before when we faced Saracens - it's about gauging where we're at. Leinster will be missing a number of key players and we'll be missing similar numbers.

"What we need to do is really take the game to Leinster, and we need our guys who are playing to really step up and take their opportunity. That is something that I've been really pleased with, that when guys have got games, they've done themselves proud and they've pushed their case even more in the weeks to come.

"Again it's a funny one as you want internationals back, but you also want to see where your younger players are at and whether they are capable of stepping up.

"I'm really excited to see how the guys go. It's a great opportunity - similar to the Saracens game - where we talked about where we're at as a group.

"We've also talked about it as an opportunity to see where our young players are at, who we believe have a bright future in the game and huge amounts of potential - we'll hopefully get a chance to see that on Friday night.


On new injuries

"We don't have any new injury concerns at the moment heading into Friday night's game."

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