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Thursday, 24 July 2014

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Whitehaven RL's Lee Paterson eyeing Scotland World Cup squad place

Lee Paterson is targeting a place in Scotland’s World Cup squad after being handed a Championship chance by Whitehaven.

Lee Paterson photo
Lee Paterson

The loose-forward spent three years playing in France and Australia before an injury to John Duffy led to a recall to the international ranks for Scotland’s European Cup campaign in October.

And he revealed he has long hoped to feature in next year’s tournament, when Steve McCormack’s side will face Tonga and Italy at Workington.

“It has always been my focus,”Paterson said. “I played in the 2008 World Cup in Australia and I thought it achievable to play in a World Cup in England.

“I’ve played for Scotland every year since then. One of the reasons I chose not to go back to Australia was that I wanted to be in the minds of Steve McCormack and Dave Rotheram a bit more, so they see me play in the hope that I can get in the squad.

“It’s a massive thing to represent your country in a World Cup. Over the last few years we have had some very good Super League and NRL players in the squad, and they all say what an honour it is.”

The 31-year-old joined Haven after speaking to new Recre prop Paul Jackson when in camp with Scotland.

“Before you know I was speaking to Dave Woods at Whitehaven and things happened quite quickly,” added Paterson, who is enjoying pre-season training with the new-look Haven squad.

“I was told before I joined that everyone at the club was really friendly and that is true. I think we have got a good squad together.

“They’ve all been really welcoming and at training you couldn’t tell who the new signings were. Dave’s a very approachable guy and seems to know what the players are about.”

Paterson was full-time with Widnes when he opted to join Carpentras, spending two years with the French Elite side before switching to Australia for a season with Queensland Cup outfit Mackay Cutters, the feeder team to North Queensland Cowboys in the NRL.

“Both leagues were very different to each other and to England,” he said. “France is very physical and Australia is very much fitness-focused. I wouldn’t say I learned a lot but it broadened my horizons.”

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