Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Robinson hails veteran Paterson

Chris Paterson
Chris Paterson

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson has praised the longevity of Chris Paterson, with the Edinburgh full-back on the verge of becoming the first Scot to play in four Rugby World Cups.

Edinburgh full-back Paterson, a veteran of a record 104 Tests and scorer of a record 783 points, was on Tuesday named in Robinson's 40-man provisional World Cup squad alongside uncapped quartet Rob Harley, Ryan Grant, David Denton and Jack Cuthbert.

Robinson told Press Association Sport: "It just shows his durability, his competitive spirit and how he has really looked after himself throughout his whole career. He's a player I really enjoy working with."

Scotland's World Cup campaign begins on September 10 in Invercargill against Romania and Robinson already has in his mind a number of players near-certain to make the final squad, fitness permitting.

He added: "We've been working together with a consistency of selection over the last two years so obviously there will be players that I already have pencilled in, but they've still got to work hard and reach targets that we're setting."

Those players already earmarked for places are likely to include captain Alastair Kellock, Richie Gray, John Barclay, Ross Ford and Allan Jacobsen, all of whom were made unavailable for the final weeks of the Magners League season with the World Cup in mind.

But there will be places up for grabs in a summer of training, which begins on June 20, and in the warm-up Tests with Ireland (August 6) and Italy (August 20) and the final 30-man squad must be named by August 22.

Robinson is pleased with the rivalry within the squad.

"There's competition for places right across the board and that's what we wanted," added Robinson, whose side's World Cup campaign also includes matches with Georgia, Argentina and England.

"We wanted a trimmed down squad and players challenging to get into the 30. It just shows the improvements that we've made over the last three or four years that there is that competition there."

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