Paterson: My retirement is tinged with sadness

Published: 4 May 2012 09:300 comments

GALA rugby star Chris Paterson will bring an end to an inspirational professional playing career this weekend.

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CHRIS Paterson will bring an end to an inspirational professional playing career tomorrow night at Murrayfield Stadium in the last match of Edinburgh Rugby's 2011/12 season (kick-off 7.30pm).

The full-back, who kicked off his career at hometown club Gala, has been picked to start against Italian side Benetton Treviso with supporters handed the chance to acknowledge the contributions of the nation's record male cap holder and points' scorer before he hangs up his boots.

Paterson is one of six players named in the squad who will play their last game for the club on an evening that will double as an emotional farewell for a number of players.

The remaining five start the match on the bench and include the replacement front-row of Andrew Kelly, Kyle Traynor and Jack Gilding; back-row Alan MacDonald and stand-off Phil Godman, while the departing Mike Blair and Jim Thompson will miss the send-off due to injury (shoulder) and Scotland 7s duty respectively.

Paterson said: "I've always said that I want to go out playing the best rugby I possibly can and I'm ready to move on to an exciting future.

"My retirement is tinged with sadness but my overriding and lasting feelings are ones of happiness, enjoyment and fulfilment, having achieved far more than I ever thought I would and could have in 14 years of the job.

"I'm delighted to be involved in this game and, as always, have done my best in training and will do my best in the game.

"We've had a great season in Europe and have a chance on Saturday to remedy our league form and finish the season well, both for Edinburgh Rugby and me personally."

Aside from emotional motivation, the club are looking to end the season with a trio of home wins, having defeated Scarlets in the RaboDirect PRO12 and Toulouse in the Heineken Cup quarter-final, leading into today's game last home game.

The importance of a winning farewell is galvanised by the players' desire to leave the club with their unbeaten home record against Italian teams intact.

Edinburgh Rugby team to play Treviso at Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday 5 May (kick-off 7.30pm): 15 Chris Paterson; 14 Tom Brown, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser; 10 Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN, 9 Chris Leck; 1 Allan Jacobsen, 2 Ross Ford, 3 Geoff Cross, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 5 Sean Cox, 6 David Denton, 7 Ross Rennie, 8 Roddy Grant

Substitutes: 16 Andrew Kelly, 17 Kyle Traynor, 18 Jack Gilding, 19 Steven Turnbull, 20 Alan MacDonald, 21 Alex Black, 22 Harry Leonard, 23 Phil Godman

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