On This Day in 2011: Chris Paterson’s record-breaking international career ends

PA Sport Staff
·2-min read

One of Scottish rugby’s greatest modern players called time on his international career on December 21 nine years ago.

Chris Paterson hung up his boots having scored a national record haul of 809 points, while his 109 caps are second only to Ross Ford.

Paterson made his debut for his country at full-back in 1999 and later played at fly-half and wing. He appeared in four World Cups and also captained Scotland on 12 occasions.

“The big emotion is pride and happiness,” Paterson said. “I’ve made the decision, which I think is the right decision.

“It’s a terribly hard decision to make and one you don’t want to have to make, but you do have to make it. When you do make it on your own terms, in your time, at the right time, it’s a lot easier.”

Paterson won his 100th cap against Wales in Cardiff in 2010 but suffered a lacerated kidney during the match.

He returned to action that November in a victory over South Africa and was first-choice full-back during the disappointing World Cup campaign in
New Zealand the following year.

Chris Paterson was a dependable source of points with his right boot
Chris Paterson was a dependable source of points with his right boot (Danny Lawson/PA)

His final appearance came in the narrow World Cup loss to England at Eden Park.

Paterson also holds the record for most points in a Test match for Scotland with 40 in a 100-8 victory over Japan in 2004, while he also landed 36 consecutive kicks between the posts from August 2007 to June 2008.

He began his club career with Gala and went on to spend the vast majority of it with Edinburgh, retiring altogether in May 2012.