Paterson set for historic century
February 9, 2010
Chris Paterson will win his 100th cap for Scotland at the Millennium Stadium © Getty Images
Chris Paterson will become the first Scottish player to win a century of Test caps when he runs out at fullback against Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
The Edinburgh utility made his debut in 1999 and is also his country's leading points scorer with 750. He is retained in a Scotland side showing a number of changes from the one that lost out to France at Murrayfield in their Six Nations opener, with Phil Godman the most high-profile casualty.
The Edinburgh pivot has lost out to Glasgow's steady Dan Parks after an unconvincing display, while co-captain Mike Blair returns on the bench as scrum-half back-up to Chris Cusiter.
Rory Lamont also returns on the wing while Max Evans is dropped, allowing Lamont's brother, Sean, to switch to the position that he occupies for the Scarlets, outside-centre.
Up front, big-hitting Northampton prop Euan Murray is recalled after sitting out the opening Sunday fixture due to his religious beliefs.
Robinson admitted that Parks, who will move to Wales with Cardiff Blues at the end of the season, would give them greater territorial control.
"We needed to improve our owning of territory, winning the territorial battle and marrying the two together of being able to play with the ball in hand but also looking to be able to dominate territory," he said. "We didn't do that well enough last week and while we showed some really good attacking intent, we turned too many balls over.
"Dan's coming in not just to kick the ball - we still want to move it, we still want to play with the ball in hand. Sean's played at centre for Llanelli, so he's had the ability to play there. He's very physical; we think there's going to be a big physical battle in the centres but also in the way that Wales defend, they really do rush up hard."
Robinson also reserved special praise for Paterson, who has performed consistently under difficult circumstances for Scotland.
"I've really enjoyed working with Chris over the last couple of years," he said. "He's a great professional both on the pitch and also off it. He thoroughly deserves the honour and the tributes bestowed upon him because of the way that he's performed consistently with a number of different coaches."
Scotland: C Paterson (Edinburgh); T Evans (Glasgow), S Lamont (Scarlets), G Morrison (Glasgow), R Lamont (Toulon); D Parks (Glasgow), C Cusiter (Glasgow, capt); A Dickinson (Gloucester), R Ford (Edinburgh), E Murray (Northampton), N Hines (Leinster), A Kellock (Glasgow), K Brown (Glasgow), J Barclay (Glasgow), J Beattie (Glasgow).
Replacements: S Lawson (Gloucester), A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), R Gray (Glasgow), A MacDonald (Edinburgh), M Blair (Edinburgh), P Godman (Edinburgh), M Evans (Glasgow).