Scrum-half Mike Blair signs for Glasgow from Newcastle

Mike Blair
Mike Blair is Scotland's most capped scrum-half

Glasgow Warriors have signed the former Scotland captain and British & Irish Lions scrum-half Mike Blair on a two-year contract.

Blair, capped 85 times, will move to Scotstoun in the summer from Newcastle Falcons, subject to a medical.

The 33-year-old returns to Scotland three years after leaving Glasgow's rivals Edinburgh for French side Brive.

He told Glasgow Warriors website:external-link "I'm excited about moving back to Scotland and joining a very ambitious club."

After a year in France, Blair joined Newcastle and has since made 39 appearances for the Premiership side.

He retired from international rugby in January 2013 having played in three World Cups and being part of the 2009 British and Irish Lions squad, which toured South Africa.

Blair played 158 games for Edinburgh in a 10-year spell, helping them reach the semi-finals of the European Cup in 2012.

He said that one of his reasons for joining Glasgow was the opportunity to work again with head coach Gregor Townsend.

Speaking to BBC's Good Morning Scotland, he said: "He's done a great job with Glasgow. I knew him through playing with him at Scotland level, playing against him when he was at the Borders, and he was the backs coach at Scotland when I was there as well.

"He's a guy I've learned a lot of from a playing side as well as coaching side so I look forward to working with him.

"It's a good pathway for my career coming to the latter stages. It'll be great to play a bit of rugby and learn coaching wise off the likes of Gregor Townsend so it's a good move all round.

"I've got some great memories from playing with Edinburgh and the set-up there at Murrayfield, but Glasgow is a very good fit for me. They approached me very early on to ask what I was doing next year and I'm really pleased to get something organised and sorted with them.

"I coach down here at Newcastle, I coach the local team Ponteland Rugby Club. I really enjoy doing that, and that's the next progression in my career when I stop playing hopefully."

Townsend is looking forward to adding Blair's experience to the playing and coaching group.

"We expect Mike to compete hard for a starting place with our other nines next season and in addition bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the club," he said.