Press Pass: Blair on Cardiff, Kinghorn and building momentum
Get the latest from Head Coach Mike Blair as he spoke with media in the build up to Sunday's BKTURC Round 7 match against Cardiff Rugby (30 October, kick-off 3pm) - live on Premier Sports.
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On Scotland players returning to club duty
“I usually lie to the media about this, but this time I don’t have to lie because I genuinely have no idea.
“Boffelli is in Manchester with Argentina, Mata and Atalifo are in France with Fiji. The 24th men with Scotland could become available for us on Sunday too.
“I don’t anticipate get many back but you never know.
On building momentum heading into the international break
“I think we’ve played well this season. We should have won that game against the Bulls, we put ourselves in a really good position with a dominant set-piece against the Stormers and feel both those game are ones that got away from us.
“Against the Lions we played some really good rugby but in that last 15 minutes we didn’t push home our advantage with the wind behind and a strong set-piece, so that’s another one that got away.
“But the way we played against Benetton and the way we played against Zebre in patches gives me a lot of confidence.
“But also we want to keep pushing onto the guys the necessity to be ruthless and the understanding that we need to be on our game otherwise we’ll lose.”
On Blair Kinghorn’s chances with Scotland
“We think Blair has done a brilliant job with us. From the start of last season, he grew into the role a lot.
“He started to understand the responsibility he has, not just on the pitch but in terms of how you plan the week, how you get the most out of the players around you and how you communicate with them.
“I have no doubt he will do well this Autumn.”
On coaching Kinghorn
“I think he’s one of the players with the highest rugby IQ I have come across.
“When he was injured last year, he did a couple of previews for us and he did them better than the coaches would do them.
“So, he’s got a huge amount of intellect. You can hear him on the ref mic, having conversations with players about what opportunities there are and what things needs to change.
“So, I think he’s a brilliant guy to coach.”
On Kinghorn’s character off the pitch
“He’s a very relaxed individual off the pitch. He likes his time away from it and that’s where we tried to get the balance right last year in terms of him doing previews but then the following week having him just concentrate on the comms during training.
“We didn’t want to suddenly give everything every week, because I believe he is a very, very good natural rugby player, so there are thing you will pick up during the season which you try to push in the conversation, or things that he’ll see or analyse himself, but I don’t think he is someone you want to overcoach or overburden during the week.
“It’s about letting him see what it takes and letting him grow into that.”