This article was originally published in The Belfast Telegraph on January 15, 2010.
As the countdown to tonight’s Ulster versus Edinburgh Heineken Cup match gathered pace, we managed to track down the guests’ captain, Chris Paterson, and asked him a few pertinent questions.
Paterson became Scotland’s most-capped back in February 2008 when he played in the RBS Six Nations Championship match against Wales at the Millennium Stadium and is only the second Scot to score over 600 points for his country.
Ulster would do well to keep the penalty count down in their own half as last year it was revealed that Paterson was the most accurate short-range kicker in the world during the last decade, kicking 36 consecutive goals for Scotland between the 2007 World Cup and 2008 Six Nations Championship.
He celebrated his 150th appearance for Edinburgh against Munster in September 2008 and is now looking for more celebrations when he comes to Belfast this evening.
Do you enjoy playing at Ravenhill?
Yes, I always playing at Ravenhill. I think it is still the biggest pitch in the British Isles, or it certainly was. I like the big open spaces to attack in.
Do you find the Ulster supporters friendly?
There is always a good atmosphere at Ravenhill. I think Ulster were one of the first clubs to pioneer Friday night rugby and it is always nice to play in front of a big crowd of passionate and knowledgeable fans.
Do you find that travelling to a game can affect how you play?
We are used to travelling overseas for games because we do it so often. I think it is still very difficult to win away from home, but the travel aspect isn’t a big factor. It is more unusual to travel by coach to play Glasgow away from home.
If you were to listen to your iPod before a game, which song would you be likely to play?
I don’t tend to listen to music before a game.
Rugby players are apparently very superstitious; would you have a set routine to go through before a game?
Just for familiarity, I always follow the same pre-match routine. It is a way of switching on and getting ready for the game.
What would be your highlight of the season so far?
Possibly the first game of the season, which was an away win at Cardiff.
Which Ulster player do you think you would beat in an arm wrestle?
[laughs] I honestly don’t know!