Chris Worth His Weight in GOALS

Daily Mail (London), March 11, 2011 | Go to article overview

Chris Worth His Weight in GOALS


Byline: by ALAN FRASER

AT A puny-for-rugby 12st 8lb, Chris Paterson stands pretty much alone and hidden by a lamp post as the last of a dying species.

A dinosaur, as it happens, is also the inspiration for his universallyemployed nickname, Mossy. 'My brother thought I looked like Moschops, the (small) television dinosaur from the 80s,' explained Paterson.

If there exists a lighter international rugby player in the modern, power-dominated game than the six-footer -- and even pint-sized scrum-halves tend to be bulkier -- then he does not spring to mind. Few self-respecting backs weigh in at less than 14 stone.

'I am just a wee fellow,' admitted Paterson. 'I have been slight throughout my entire career. I was slight growing up through the age groups. The difference is more pronounced now.

'I tried for 12 years to put weight on. I tried different eating regimes, different training routines, a different pre-season schedule doing weights instead of running. I might gain a kilogram but that's it. I always stayed just the same.

'I am far stronger than I was but I am anything but a power player. I play the game that suits me.'

A lack of physical stature has hardly held Paterson back. In every other respect his numbers are huge, his place in Scottish rugby history immense.

The full back, 33 later this month, will earn his 103rd cap against England on Sunday. His 100th against Wales last year was also his 50th consecutive Six Nations championship match and, perversely, the day that nearly ended his career. An accidental knee in his abdomen split a kidney.

'That was a bit scary. It is still sore.

I am still receiving regular tests.' Paterson is his country's biggest points scorer on 764, with his closest contemporary Dan Parks way back on 223. Paterson is also third on the Scottish try-scoring list -- at 22 just a couple behind top man Ian Smith.

That statistic, however, represents a source of some embarrassment as well as considerable pride. It is now approaching four years since he last touched down for Scotland.

'Thanks,' he says on being reminded. '[Breaking the record] is something I would love to achieve. It is a big target. To equal the record would be great. And if I could go on and break it that would be another goal to achieve.'

There is in that desire an element of kicking off the tag of being just a kicking machine. A silky, slithery runner with ball in hand, Paterson was renowned for his attacking skills long before becoming at one stage -- statistically at least -- the best goal kicker in the world. …

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