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The gainline-busting Cardiff Rugby loosehead has been one of the form players in the URC and he wants his opportunity with Wales

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Struggling Edinburgh boss Mike Blair makes frank admission

By PA
Edinburgh Rugby v Glasgow Warriors – United Rugby Championship – BT Murrayfield Stadium

Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair admits he is not getting the best out of his players at present.

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The men from Scotland’s capital have lost their last four United Rugby Championship matches and are licking their wounds after losing both legs of the 1872 Cup to inter-city rivals Glasgow.

The second leg at BT Murrayfield on Friday was particularly chastening for Blair as he watched Edinburgh relinquish a 20-12 half-time lead to lose 32-25.

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“I’m feeling challenged in the job,” said Blair, who took over in summer 2021. “I’m obviously pretty new to it with not a huge amount of experience. I’m finding it a challenge but I’m also very clear that we’re a good side with good personnel.

“I’m challenging myself because I’m clearly not getting the best out of the players at the moment, whether that’s individually or as a team. I need to look at what I’m doing and find a way out of this.

“I don’t believe we’re far off because we are playing good rugby, so for me it’s about looking at our belief and where we are psychologically. We’re doing enough good stuff but we’re having periods where teams are finding it too easy to put points on us.

“The first half against Glasgow we were playing with confidence but then when something went against us we found it difficult to get it back.”

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Glasgow have now won five games in a row in all competitions and are up to fifth in the URC table, but head coach Franco Smith still feels there is plenty of scope for improvement.

“I’m not looking too much at how many we’ve won,” he said. “It obviously helps and it will be a stimulation for us going into the next working week, but we’ve still got to keep getting better.

“I still don’t feel we are where we should be. There’s still a lot of work to be done.”

Smith is refusing to get carried away by his team’s 1872 Cup win.

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“If you look at the whole picture and what it means for the supporters and the club and for the growth and the stimulation for the next part of the season, it was definitely a good win,” he said.

“We weren’t as clinical as I think we can be but it was a good win. We need to keep our feet on the ground.”

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