Fourth RWC looms for Scotland’s Paterson

(Rugby News Service) Monday 22 August 2011
Fourth RWC looms for Scotland’s Paterson
Chris Paterson, Scotland's most-capped player

Chris Paterson will make history at Rugby World Cup 2011 by becoming the first Scot to play in four editions of Rugby's showpiece tournament.

The inclusion of Scotland’s most-capped player, with 105 Tests to his name, indicates the experience at coach Andy Robinson’s disposal.

Glasgow Warriors second row Alastair Kellock will captain the side, having led Scotland in this year’s Six Nations campaign.

The 204cm-tall Kellock, overlooked for RWC 2007, said of his inclusion: “Today is not a time for looking back. It’s about reflecting on the huge honour of being selected for the squad in the first instance, which is magnified by being asked to captain the squad.”

There is a definite international flavour to Scotland’s squad: the players are drawn from clubs in England, Wales, Ireland and France, as well as Glasgow and Edinburgh. The scrummage coach is Massimo Cuttitta, who represented Italy in 1991 and 1995 and whose twin brother Marcello played in the first Rugby World Cup match, against New Zealand in 1987.

Inspire the nation

With former English international and coach Robinson at the helm, the 1 October encounter in Auckland against the Auld Enemy will take on special significance.

There is no place for number 8 Johnnie Beattie, who, with Kelly Brown and John Barclay, has been part of a back row nicknamed the Killer Bs (due to their surnames). Beattie played twice this year, on each occasion against Ireland – in the Six Nations and in a warm-up match earlier in August.

The squad averages 35 caps a man, and in the backline four players other than Paterson have more than 50 caps: Mike Blair, Chris Cusiter, Sean Lamont and Dan Parks. Scotland also have two seasoned goal-kickers in Paterson – Scotland’s all-time leading points scorer – and Parks, with 786 and 236 international points respectively.

In the forwards two players have made more than 50 appearances, with Nathan Hines (73 caps) and Allan Jacobsen (56 caps) appearing in their third Rugby World Cup.

Robinson said: “As a squad we have our values and uppermost among them is to inspire the nation by the way in which we conduct ourselves and through winning performances on the international rugby field.”

When the tournament was last held in New Zealand, Scotland drew 20-20 with France at Christchurch in one of the most exciting matches of the tournament, before losing to the All Blacks in the last eight. If Scotland progress from a tough pool that also features Argentina, a quarter-final looms against either of those sides.

Scotland squad for RWC 2011:Forwards: John Barclay, Kelly Brown, Geoff Cross, Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford, Richie Gray, Dougie Hall, Jim Hamilton, Nathan Hines, Allan Jacobsen, Alastair Kellock (captain), Scott Lawson, Moray Low, Euan Murray, Ross Rennie, Alasdair Strokosch, Richie Vernon.

Backs: Joe Ansbro, Mike Blair, Chris Cusiter, Simon Danielli, Nick De Luca, Max Evans, Ruaridh Jackson, Rory Lamont, Sean Lamont, Rory Lawson, Graeme Morrison, Dan Parks, Chris Paterson.

Squad subject to RWCL approval