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Scotland hails 100-cap centurion Chris Paterson

aterson will win his 100th cap on Saturday
Chris Paterson says he is hungry for more caps for Scotland

By Thomas McGuigan

There are only three things certain in life: deaths, taxes and Chris Paterson kicking points for Scotland.

The 31-year-old's boot has ensured he is by far and away Scotland's most potent weapon - borne out by the fact he is about to earn his 100th cap.

Even if the Millennium Stadium roof was closed on Saturday, you could imagine the late rugby greats would still be watching from the heavens as Scotland's centurion takes to the Cardiff turf.

Paterson will follow in the illustrious footsteps of George Gregan (139 caps), Jason Leonard (114 caps) and Phillipe Sella (111) to name but a few.

Scotland's number 15 scored all of his side's points in the 18-9 defeat by France in the opening Six Nations match of the current campaign.

And, despite being described as "the best goal-kicker in the world" by his club side Edinburgh, there is more to his game than his gun-barrel straight delivery through the posts.

Paterson reached the 750-point landmark during his 99th cap at Murrayfield. He broke two Scotland career records during the 2008 Test series in Argentina.

In the first Test, which Scotland lost 21-15 in Rosario, he passed Gavin Hastings's record of 667 points for his country.

Scotland backs coach Gregor Townsend
He's a real asset to the team and playing as well as ever

Gregor Townsend

And, in the second match of the series, Paterson earned his 88th cap to surpass Scott Murray's record.

Gregor Townsend, who earned 83 caps and like Paterson was a product of Galashiels Academy and Gala RFC, told BBC Scotland that the number 15 is receiving deserved recognition.

"It's an amazing achievement. Only 10 players in the history of the game throughout the world have had 100 caps," Townsend told BBC Scotland.

"So it's fantastic that Chris has finally reached that milestone and it's a credit to the way he conducts himself and all the hard work he puts in.

"I've seen the transformation in Scottish goal-kicking because of Chris's efforts.

"His mental toughness, his dedication to stay at the top level for 11 seasons in professional rugby, is an amazing achievement.

"It's very well deserved and we're all hoping we provide him with a great send-off with a win in Cardiff.

"He has great experience and looks sharper than ever this season, so it's really helped our counter attacking.

"He's a real asset to the team and playing as well as ever."

And Paterson's achievements transcend the sport, with footballer Kenny Dalglish, who earned 102 caps for Scotland, hailing it as a "fantastic achievement".

As for the man himself, Paterson said reaching the milestone will only whet his appetite for more.

"I'm hugely proud of achieving it and getting on the field is certainly something I'm looking forward to," he said.

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"Since I got into the 90s, I thought 'there's a chance here'.

"I just want to get out, get on with it and hopefully not only get 100 but 101 and keep going up the numbers."

Paterson said recently that the appointment of head coach Andy Robinson had added to his determination to kick Scotland to success.

The Scots have failed to score a try in their last three games and the onus will once again be on the unflappable Paterson to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

It's a task the amiable Scot will tackle with his usual aplomb.


Gregor Townsend was speaking to BBC Scotland's Liam McLeod



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see also
Wales 31-24 Scotland
13 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
Townsend hails 'amazing' Paterson
12 Feb 10 |  Scotland
Robinson defiant over roof spat
11 Feb 10 |  Scottish
Six Nations table
10 Aug 06 |  Tables


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