Chris Paterson MBE

December 31st, 2011

One of Scotland’s longest serving and best rugby stars announced his retirement from international play a few days ago and in today’s New Year Honours list was awarded a much deserved MBE.

After the World Cup I said I hoped that he would carry on playing for another year but it seems he’s decided that he wants to go out at the top, and maybe the current hip injury that is preventing him from performing his usual kicking duties for Edinburgh has been a contributory factor.

Always an exciting runner in whatever position he appeared, he also became probably the best kicker in the world for a substantial part of his career. The big question has always been what his best position was. His early career seemed to suggest he would be a natural running stand-off of a type that we haven’t had since John Rutherford, but a number of coaches seemed to disagree and since he wasn’t being played there regularly it was always going to be difficult to capture that spot in the national side. As a result he mostly appeared at either full back or wing and while he was often deadly in broken play there are many who will always wonder if he could have controlled games from the number 10 shirt and encouraged the sort of running rugby that we aspire to.

He’ll be missed, both for his jinking running and his faultless kicking; particularly as Rory Lamont seems to keep getting injured. Thanks for some great memories Chris  – enjoy your remaining time club career.

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