EXCLUSIVE: Breaking up won't be hard to do for us, says Paterson

SCOTLAND legend Chris Paterson is sure the battle of the breakdown will settle tomorrow's RBS 6 Nations opener against England at Twickenham.

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Paterson hopes Scots will be in fine voice come Saturday night
Paterson hopes Scots will be in fine voice come Saturday night

The Dark Blues' record cap and points holder, with 109 caps and 809 points, achieved many things for his country, but a victory over the Auld Enemy on their own patch eluded him.

He travelled south five times with high hopes and great expectations only to come away with that sinking feeling as the Calcutta Cup failed to return north of the border.

The Scots recent Six Nations record is nothing short of a disgrace, with just one of their last 10 fixtures yielding victory against Italy, at Murrayfield on March 19, 2011.

But Paterson remains bullish that a heavy duty Scots pack will put the bite on English ambition and help deliver their first victory on opening day since 2006.

He said: "The one thing I will say about tomorrow's game is that the Scotland pack will not be bullied. Four of our eight ply their trade in the Premiership with Jim Hamilton skipper at Gloucester, Richie Gray at Sale, Euan Murray at Worcester and captain Kelly Brown at Saracens.

"So they are well used to the England lads and won't be worried about them.

"You have Al Stokosch with Perpignan and Johnnie Beattie at Montpellier as well. They are both playing at the top of their games. The Glasgow duo Ryan Grant and Dougie Hall recently came out on top against Northampton in a forwards battle in the Heineken Cup.

"The pack could give any opposition a nightmare. But that will be vital because at home the English will be determined to get the shove on in the set-piece and really get the home fans on their feet.

"But I think we can take them on up front and in particular we are going to have to win the breakdown.

"The English were outstanding in slowing New Zealand down when they beat the world champions the last time they played at home and we can't allow them to do that to us.

"We will certainly need big games from Stokosch and Brown as the England skipper Chris Robshaw has developed into a top-class openside.

"But I see no reason why we can't take them on, and if we do we have a group of backs who can really hurt the English."

PATERSON added: "Then it will be a case of getting the balance right between playing the game in the right areas and playing territory and avoiding just kicking to relieve pressure.

"But as always no one gives us a prayer going down to Twickenham and this Scotland team could just be the one that delivers."

Paterson also admitted that his failure to win at Twickenham was his great regret.

The 34-year-old said: "The closest I came to getting a win at Twickenham was two years back when we lost 22-16.

"But I have also had some stuffings, particularly when we lost 40-3 in 2001.

"But I think there is a hard-nosed edge to this Scotland team and they wont bother about the history books.

"There will be an awful lot of expectation on English shoulders come tomorrow and none on ours. That will suit our boys."

Chris Paterson spoke exclusively to SportTimes as team sponsor RBS allowed fans to show their support at a Sing for Scotland booth. Fans can meet Paterson and have their photo taken with the RBS 6 Nations trophy at Whitecraigs Rugby Club in Glasgow after the game against Cartha on Saturday, February 16. For full info www.facebook.com/rbsscottishrugby


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