Paterson calls time on Test career
December 21, 2011
Chris Paterson is set to bow out of the international stage with 109 Test caps to his name © Getty Images
Scotland's most-capped player of all-time Chris Paterson has brought down the curtain on his 12-year Test career.
The 33-year-old, who has won 109 Test caps, scoring 809 points - both records, made his Test bow against Spain at the 1999 Rugby World Cup and is his most recent outing against England at the 2011 tournament was his last.
Paterson confirmed his retirement in a statement on www.scotlandrugbyteam.org which read: "I've always said I wanted to bow out at the highest level of the game, while I still had the ability to go on. Since coming back (from the World Cup) I've had a while to think about it and I believe now is the right time to make my decision, especially when I've still been playing well at that level.
"My biggest fear would be devaluing what I have achieved and devaluing the jersey. You have to stop at some point and this is the right time for me."
And Scotland head coach Andy Robinson led the tributes saying: "What a fantastic career Chris has had for Scotland. He should be celebrated as one of Scotland's greatest ever internationalists. I respect his decision and thank him for all he has done. Having coached against him, he was a player I always earmarked as a real threat.
"Coaching him has been a delight, primarily because of his many attributes, not least that constant desire to get better."
The versatile Paterson, currently the 11th most-capped player of all-time, has featured at fullback, wing and fly-half for his country throughout a distinguished career. He was the youngest player to earn 50 Scotland caps and surpassed Gavin Hastings as Scotland's leading points scorer and Scott Murray's cap record on the 2008 tour to Argentina.
He went on to become Scotland's first and only Test centurion when he played against Wales during the 2010 Six Nations. He is also the only Scot to have appeared in four World Cups with the defeat against England his 15th game at the sport's showpiece - another record.
Paterson's kicking accuracy was world renowned. He landed 36 successive shots at goal between August 2007 and June 2008 and his unerring accuracy with the boot was celebrated by French sports daily L'Equipe during the 2007 World Cup.
One record which proved elusive for Paterson was the try-scoring record jointly held by Tony Stanger and Ian Smith and which stands at 24. Paterson has 22 tries for Scotland, but last crossed the try-line in the 2007 World Cup against Romania at Murrayfield. His 809 points includes 22 tries, 170 penalties, 90 conversions and three drop goals.
He began his career with Gala, before two spells with Edinburgh, either side of a short stint at Gloucester. Hampered by a groin injury of late, impacting on his place-kicking, he agreed a new two-year deal with Edinburgh last year.
Glasgow Warriors duo Rory Lamont and 19-year-old Stuart Hogg and Hugo Southwell of Wasps will be expected to compete for Scotland's full-back berth in the Six Nations, which begins against England at Murrayfield on February 4.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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