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Last Updated: Friday, 1 February 2008, 14:07 GMT
Scotland drop Paterson to bench
Chris Paterson in action for Scotland
Paterson was the most reliable goalkicker at the recent World Cup
Scotland have dropped their premier goalkicker Chris Paterson to the bench for their Six Nations opener against France at Murrayfield on Sunday.

Dan Parks starts at fly-half, while Nikki Walker and Simon Webster are preferred in the wing positions.

Edinburgh centre Nick De Luca will win his first Scotland cap, while Glasgow open-side flanker John Barclay starts his first Six Nations match.

Captain Jason White has been declared fit but Ally Hogg is not in the 22.

Paterson, who had a 100% success rate at last year's World Cup from 17 attempts at goal, has been struggling for game time since joining Gloucester on his return.

Maybe it is time I need to concentrate on one position

Chris Paterson
But coach Frank Hadden insists the versatile former Edinburgh star, who has played full-back, wing and fly-half for Scotland, still has an "integral" role in his plans for Sunday's match.

"Chris couldn't possibly be anything other than disappointed not to start," Hadden told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"But being the consummate professional he is, he immediately put that out of his mind and got down to doing everything he could to make sure we get the result on Sunday."

Paterson appears to have paid for his versatility and conceded it may be time for him to concentrate on one position.

"I feel as though I have become a better player since moving to Gloucester," the 29-year-old told BBC Radio 5 Live.

606: DEBATE
scotlandkiwi
"It has added a lot to my understanding of the game, even though I have not had a huge amount of game time.

"But when you go to a new club you start at the bottom of the ladder and fight your way in, and hopefully I am doing that and gaining respect.

"It is the start of a new chapter in my career and maybe it is time I need to concentrate on one position.

"If it is the stand-off position Frank wants me to go for now, then I will go for it."

Dumfries-born De Luca, 24 on Friday, will make his debut in midfield alongside Andrew Henderson, who has been passed fit to add some ballast to the midfield.

Nine of the Scotland players who began the World Cup quarter-final against Argentina last October are retained, with Webster switching from outside centre to left wing.

Walker comes in at right wing, Allan Jacobsen replaces Gavin Kerr at loose-head prop and Dave Callam starts at number eight, with Simon Taylor sidelined with a broken thumb

Barclay will start at open-side, with Hogg the player to miss out from the 23-man squad Hadden named on Monday.

"Our track record in Scotland of developing players in the pro-teams is tremendous and to see John (Barclay) and Nick (De Luca) simply demanding to be chosen for the national team is a perfect example of that," Hadden added.

"Nikki (Walker) is another player whose displays in the Magners League and the Heineken Cup mean he is fully worthy of a starting slot."


Scotland team: R Lamont (Sale Sharks); N Walker (Ospreys), N De Luca (Edinburgh), A Henderson (Glasgow Warriors), S Webster (Edinburgh); D Parks (Glasgow Warriors), M Blair (Edinburgh); A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), R Ford (Edinburgh), E Murray (Northampton Saints), N Hines (Perpignan), J Hamilton (Leicester Tigers), J White (Sale Sharks, captain), J Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), D Callam (Edinburgh).
Replacements: F Thomson (Glasgow Warriors), G Kerr (Edinburgh), S MacLeod (Llanelli Scarlets), K Brown (Glasgow Warriors), C Cusiter (Perpignan), C Paterson (Gloucester), H Southwell (Edinburgh).


SEE ALSO
France suffer Fritz injury blow
30 Jan 08 |  Rugby Union
Six Nations Young Guns - John Barclay
27 Jan 08 |  Rugby Union
Six Nations Young Guns - Nick de Luca
27 Jan 08 |  Rugby Union
France ring changes for Scotland
22 Jan 08 |  Rugby Union
Depleted Scotland call up Murray
14 Jan 08 |  Scottish
Murray left out of Scotland squad
08 Jan 08 |  Scottish
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment


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