On this day in 2011: Chris Paterson announces international retirement

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Scotland’s leading points-scorer Chris Paterson announced his decision to retire from international rugby on this day in 2011.

The then 33-year-old scored 809 points across 109 appearances and was the only Scot to have appeared at four Rugby World Cup tournaments over his 12-year career.

At the time, Paterson was Scotland’s most-capped player, a record which was broken by former team-mate Ross Ford in 2017.

“The big emotion is pride and happiness,” he said. “I was lucky enough to win a first cap, which was special, but to then play in a 50th and 100th is something that springs to mind as a highlight.

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


Paterson’s debut came against Spain in the 1999 World Cup before he took his place as a regular in the inaugural Six Nations in 2000 and went on to captain his nation on 12 occasions.

He played in several positions including fly-half, wing and full-back and eclipsed Gavin Hastings as Scotland’s all-time leading points-scorer as well as Scott Murray’s cap record on the 2008 tour of Argentina.

His impressive points haul included 22 tries, 170 penalties, 90 conversions and also three drop goals to bring up over 800 points.

The occasion of Paterson’s 100th cap was marred after he suffered a lacerated kidney in a 31-24 loss to Wales in 2010 and his final showing came in a 16-12 World Cup pool stage loss to England at Eden Park in Auckland one year later.

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