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Blair desperate to nail down starting spot

Guinness PRO12 Editor

31 Jan 2012

After spending 15 months on the treatment table full-back Ben Blair has every intention of retaining his starting slot at Cardiff following a points-scoring comeback against Gloucester.

The 32-year-old, who has his eye on a RaboDirect PRO12 return against Connacht on February 10, sustained the knee injury against Castres in October 2010 but played 62 minutes of the 40-3 defeat against Bryan Redpath’s side in the LV= Cup on Saturday.

Having lost all three of their opening games in the competition, coaches Gareth Baber and Justin Burnell have made no secret of the fact they are giving their fringe players game time, and with a clash against Harlequins on Sunday former New Zealand international Blair is desperate to continue his rehabilitation.

He said: "I'd like to be starting obviously. I don't want to come back and not play again.

"I'll hopefully be involved next week and try and put myself in the frame for the game against Connacht at home.

"I'm not looking too far ahead after that but I'll try and get my body nice and fit and get some form together. We'll see how it goes.

"I was pretty happy. I felt a little unprepared going into the game but it's good to get the first one done with.

"I knew it was going to be tough playing a pretty strong and experienced Gloucester side but now I can look forward to improving and hopefully play some good rugby towards the end of the season.

“I just persevered and I know I'm not going to feel as good as I used to. But I felt really good out there, running around just like normal.

"It's all about improving every little aspect of my game and enjoying my rugby again.”