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Paterson makes Gloucester switch


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The Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) have demanded answers from Edinburgh after Scotland full-back Chris Paterson was allowed to leave the club and join Gloucester.

The 29-year-old’s reasons for moving have not been revealed, however, his exit comes at a time when Edinburgh are involved in a bitter dispute with the SRU over match fees which appears set to be fought out in court.

Paterson was one of a dozen Edinburgh players refused permission by the Magners League club to attend Scotland training earlier this month.

Edinburgh confirmed that Paterson, who captained Scotland during the RBS Six Nations Championship due to Jason White’s unavailability through injury, had left Murrayfield “by mutual consent and with immediate effect”.

That prompted the SRU to reveal their astonishment that a player so integral to Frank Hadden’s national team had been allowed to become another exile, despite having one year left on his contract.

“Scottish Rugby is dismayed to hear the news that Chris Paterson is to leave Edinburgh Rugby with immediate effect to join the English Premiership club Gloucester,” said a statement from the SRU.

“Scottish Rugby has written to Edinburgh Rugby asking for their explanation for Paterson’s departure and how this affects their obligations to Scottish Rugby. An urgent response has been requested.”

In a statement, Edinburgh announced: “It is with regret that Edinburgh Rugby announce the departure of Chris Paterson from the club, by mutual consent and with immediate effect.”

It emerged last month that Paterson was relinquishing the captaincy at Edinburgh, after three years, with the job to be shared by Allister Hogg and Simon Cross.

Paterson said: “I would like to thank Edinburgh for the opportunity to continue my career elsewhere and I wish everyone at Edinburgh every success in the coming season.”

Edinburgh coach Lynn Howells attempted to play down the significance of Paterson’s departure, although there will be plenty of dissatisfaction among their supporters and within Scottish rugby.

Howells told edinburghrugby.com: “While a player of the calibre of Chris Paterson would be an asset to any club, Edinburgh Rugby currently has a squad with strength in depth, including a number of full internationals, that is more than capable of competing well in both competitions next season.”


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