Hadden lays down pivotal challenge

Frank Hadden has challenged Chris Paterson to prove he deserves to be Scotland’s Rugby World Cup fly-half when the former stand-in captain lines up against Ireland in the side’s ‘warm-up’ Test on Saturday.

Gloucester’s recent recruit from Edinburgh passes the armband to fit-again skipper Jason White, who plays his first Scotland match of the year, for the Murrayfield clash.

And Paterson’s positional change is perhaps Hadden’s most important experiment as far as Scotland’s World Cup prospects are concerned.

The vast majority of Paterson’s 74 caps have been won either on the wing or at full-back, but many observers believe he should have spent that time directing operations with the number 10 jersey on his back.

Having moved Paterson to the fly-half slot during the second half of each of Scotland’s matches in this year’s Six Nations campaign, Hadden has now decided the 29-year-old should have an opportunity to prove he can start an international match in the crucial position.

“I think I said at the beginning of the Six Nations that he probably wasn’t ready to start an international match at stand-off, and at the end of the Six Nations I said he probably was – so he gets an opportunity to show if he can unseat Dan Parks or even Gordon Ross from that position,” said Hadden.

“It is vital for us to take advantage of anything we’ve got that might help us make things awkward for the opposition, and I think Chris is definitely a very different stand-off to Dan Parks and Gordon Ross, and we’ll get an opportunity to see this weekend how effective he will be in that role.

“He has practised at stand-off throughout the whole summer. He has not practised anywhere else because he needed to get up to speed in that position, and we needed to give him every opportunity to contest one of our three stand-off berths.”

 

365 Digital

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