Glasgow v Edinburgh: Mike Blair to sit out 1872 Cup clash

Capital head coach was a Covid close contact 'outside the club' last week

Mike Blair
Mike Blair saw his Edinburgh side lose just their second competitive match of the season this afternoon. Image: © Craig Watson -

EDINBURGH head coach Mike Blair will not be at Scotstoun tonight for his team’s 1872 Cup clash against Glasgow Warriors after being identified as a Covid close-contact “outside the club” last week. 

A statement from the club said: “Blair has been self-isolating as per current Scottish Government guidelines and will resume training next week.”

The capital squad will be led this evening  by assistant coaches Calum MacRae, Stevie Lawrie and Gareth Baber.

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Both squads for this crucial clash, which is one of only two matches in this United Rigby Championship round to go ahead, are significantly depleted, with Covid having been a major factor in that. Edinburgh have listed 17 players as unavailable for unspecified reasons, while Glasgow have 11 squad members missing.

“The picture has changed throughout the week in terms of the team we initially selected and what the team ended up looking like by 12noon on Boxing Day, so we’ve had some challenges in and around injuries and what have you, and we just need to adapt,” said Blair during yesterday’s team announcement, when the fact he was a isolating wasn’t revealed..

“Some [of the absentees] are injury and some are Covid, but we’re expecting the vast majority of that list – taking out Viliame [Mata] and Damien [Hoyland], who are longer term – to be around in the next couple of weeks,” he added.

Meanwhile, Glasgow Warriors head coach Danny Wilson explained that medical confidentiality prohibited him from revealing any Covid-related absentees. When asked about the unavailability of outside-centre Sione Tuipulotu, the one change to his side for this match from the starting XV which took on Exeter Chiefs last week, he replied: “I’ll let you read between the lines there.”

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About David Barnes 3537 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. there can be genuine medical reasons for not being vaccinated, but they are unlikely to apply to professional sports people
    But we should add 2 and 2 and get 5. Vaccination protects against serious illness but it doesn’t mean you cannot catch and transmit the virus. Particularly with omicron we are seeing this, and also seeing significant numbers of re-infections

    The only club I know of who have openly anti vaxxers as players is Exeter

  2. I would still say no jag, no job while the pandemic is as it is, but wouldn’t be disparaging about it if there is a genuine medical reason.

    Unfortunately, one of those people is more likely than a vaccinated person to give it to another of those people if they are sharing the same workplace. The risk is increased to that group if we get any “free thinkers” in the wider group who have assumed postgraduate levels of scientific insight from reading a few sports science textbooks since leaving school.

  3. Omicron is playing havoc across all sports at the moment.

    Hopefully the affected staff and players recover quickly.

    • Agree. Any respected epidemiologists amongst the players and staff who haven’t been vaccinated yet should have their names leaked tho. Hope Townsend makes it clear publicly that no jag = no cap.

      • I somehow doubt there are any epidemiologists, respected or otherwise among the players or staff.
        And you can be triple jagged and still catch and carry the virus

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