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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 July 2007, 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK
Paterson makes move to Gloucester
Chris Paterson
Paterson made his debut for Scotland at the 1999 World Cup
Scotland full-back Chris Paterson is leaving Edinburgh after signing a three-year deal with Gloucester.

Paterson who captained Scotland during this year's Six Nations, has been with Edinburgh for nine seasons.

He becomes the first player to leave Edinburgh since their high-profile rift with the Scottish Rugby Union.

"I would like to thank Edinburgh for the opportunity to continue my career elsewhere," said the 29-year-old, who will join Gloucester in October.

"I was lucky enough to be part of an excellent Edinburgh squad, but this opportunity to join Gloucester was simply too good to turn down.

"I am looking forward to proving myself against the best in the Premiership and the Heineken Cup.


"What has really impressed me is the professionalism and environment at Gloucester.

"It was exciting to speak to head coach Dean Ryan and Bryan Redpath about where the club is heading, and I cannot wait to get involved."

Paterson, who made his Scotland debut at the 1999 World Cup, has played 74 matches for his country and is Scotland's second highest points scorer, behind Gavin Hastings.

He joins fellow senior internationals Chris Cusiter (Perpignan), Scott Murray (Montauban) and Simon Taylor (Stade Francais) in securing moves away from Scotland for next season.

Edinburgh often relied on Paterson's accurate kicking but head coach Lynn Howells is optimistic ahead of the new season.

"While a player of the calibre of Chris Paterson would be an asset to any club, Edinburgh Rugby currently has a squad with strength in depth that is more than capable of competing well in both competitions next season," he told the club website.

Scottish Rugby has written to Edinburgh Rugby asking for their explanation for Paterson's departure

Scottish Rugby Union statement

"In the past few months when political matters have dominated the rugby press it is great to see Edinburgh Rugby and the international players staying committed to developing the game in Scotland - especially during this period of instability."

Last month Paterson, who can also play at fly-half or on the wing, relinquished the captaincy at Edinburgh, after three years, with the job to be shared by Allister Hogg and Simon Cross.

The Scottish Rugby Union released a statement expressing their disappointment at Paterson's departure and have asked Edinburgh to explain why the player left the club with one year still remaining on his contract.

The full statement, sent by SRU Head of Media Graham Law, read: "Scottish Rugby is dismayed to hear the news that Chris Paterson is to leave Edinburgh Rugby with immediate effect to join the English Premiership club Gloucester.

"Scottish Rugby has written to Edinburgh Rugby asking for their explanation for Paterson's departure and how this affects their obligations to Scottish Rugby.

"An urgent response has been requested."

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