Paterson hopes for an entertaining World Cup

CHRIS Paterson has backed this year’s World Cup to be a more entertaining spectacle – and he hopes to play a big part in the global event, writes Kenny Paterson.

The 33-year-old former Gala player plans to make his fourth World Cup appearance in New Zealand after forcing his way back into the Scotland starting XV with a series of impressive Six Nations performances.

Speaking at the launch of the Rowan Boland Memorial Trust at Gala RFC, the Edinburgh full back described the last tournament in France four years ago – where South Africa and England failed to deliver a single try in the final – as “regressive and boring”.

But he added: “This World Cup will be far better.

“There is a responsibility for the teams to produce a product that people want to watch.

“It has to be entertaining because there is competition with so many other sports for audiences.”

Despite his return to the national team, including a superb showing in Scotland’s heartbreaking defeat to England, Paterson has not yet booked his plane ticket for the Land of the Long White Cloud in September.

He said: “The selection can be reactive at times and pre-season training is more important than ever, so it is vital to keep ticking along and get on that plane to New Zealand.

“Our biggest regret was not beating England. It was a great opportunity and we should have taken our chance in the last 20 minutes.

“It’s fine margins that make the difference on the day. I have played down there (Twickenham) a number of times and we never threatened to win, but this year we had a chance and never took it.”

It is just over a year since Paterson’s career could have been abruptly halted, after severely damaging his kidney against Wales.

Although a retirement date has not yet been set, the veteran has considered what circumstances would lead to his boots being put back in their box.

“My biggest fear is not feeling as if I can contribute as much as I want to,” said Paterson. “As soon as my commitment and desire is not there, then I can’t carry on.

“I don’t tend to look too far ahead. To get onto the flight to New Zealand would be a huge achievement for me.”

z THE SRU’s championship committee met yesterday to decide whether to take any action against Hawick for their failure to fulfil Saturday’s Premier A match with Glasgow Hawks.

The Borders club cited a lack of specialist front rows for the game and could be deducted points effective from the start of next season.

While Hawick’s league position is unaffected, clubs higher up the league are calling for the game to be rescheduled as the outcome could affect British and Irish Cup placings next season. At the moment, Currie and Hawks share third place on 60 points with two games remaining, while Melrose (70) will clinch the title if they defeat second-placed Ayr (63) in their one outstanding fixture.

Currie have still to visit Hawks and Ayr, and clearly any setback for the Glaswegians at the hands of Hawick would assist their cause with scoring differential another factor to be considered.

TheSouthern had gone to print before any decision had been made, but you can find out the outcome at www.thesouthernreporter.co.uk