Paterson on the verge of history
August 22, 2011
Paterson is on the verge of creating history in the forthcoming World Cup © PA Photos
Chris Paterson is adamant he is taking nothing forgranted in his bid to secure his spot in Scotland's XV at the World Cup.
And Paterson - who made his debut in the 1999 tournament and is Scotland's most-capped player and record point's scorer, with 105 appearances and 786 points - is on the verge of becoming the first Scot to appear in four World Cups.
But the 33-year-old Edinburgh full-back experienced the same nervous anticipation as 12 years ago when Robinson unveiled his World Cup squad on Monday in the National Museum of Scotland in the heart of Edinburgh, with squad members walking down a flight of stairs into the main gallery.
"The announcement was probably one of the most nerve-wracking things I've done," Paterson said. "The squad was announced at a meeting yesterday and the nerves were jangling; way back in '99 it was a phone call you were waiting for.
"That feeling never leaves you and the desire to do well never leaves you. It was a huge goal of mine to make this World Cup. I'm delighted to do that, but the hard work starts again tomorrow when we get back to training and fight for that starting place."
Paterson suffered a damaged kidney in the 2010 Six Nations clash with Wales in Cardiff and made his international return last November as a replacement against South Africa. Consistent performances for Edinburgh saw Paterson return to the Test starting line-up for February's Six Nations clash with Ireland and he is likely to travel to New Zealand as the first-choice full-back, while also covering the fly-half position occupied by Dan Parks and Ruaridh Jackson.
Scotland's World Cup campaign begins in Invercargill on September 10 against Romania, with fixtures against Georgia, Argentina and England, on October 1 in Auckland, to follow. Paterson is focused on the first fixture saying: "There's no point looking too far ahead - you deal with what's in front of you.
"Romania and Georgia are two hugely physical sides, sides you really should hope to beat, but you have to beat them - they'll take a lot of wearing down. There's a lot to work to be done, a lot of fine-tuning, but that will hopefully be done in the next two to three weeks."
There is the tantalising prospect that the clash with England will determine Scotland's passage to the quarter-final stage, but Paterson is not looking too far ahead. He added: "It will be a big game. The Scotland-England rivalry is second to none.
"It will be a strange scenario being played on foreign soil, but there are three games before that that are hugely important for Scotland."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.