Chris Cusiter

Chris Cusiter

Christopher Peter Cusiter (born 13 June 1982) is a Scottish rugby union player who plays at . He is considered a great prospect for the Scotland national rugby union team and the British and Irish Lions. Originally from Aberdeen, where he attended Robert Gordon's College, he now plays for USA Perpignan, having been released by the now-disbanded Border Reivers at the end of the 2006-07 season. Cusiter studied law at Edinburgh University.

Cusiter made his first start for Scotland in the 2004 Six Nations match against Wales.

Autumn internationals (2004)

Cusiter first shot to international prominence in the 2004 Autumn Internationals, where he made four length-of-the-field breaks in one match versus Australia, a match which Scotland lost 17-31. His crisp passing, unpredictability from behind rucks and mauls, tenacity in defence, and ability to slow up opposition ball by tackling the Number 8 and opposing scrum-half, has made him one of the best in the world in his position.

Lions Tour (2005)

Chris went on the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand. He was one of the youngest on the tour, yet many believe he was one of the players of the series, making an impact in every game, and producing two mesmerising displays against NPC sides Taranaki and Otago. Many believed the Scotsman should have been the starting no.9, including ex-greats Will Carling and Gavin Hastings.

Cusiter-Blair rivalry

Fortunately for Scotland, they have three players in the same position with equally prodigious talent, Mike Blair of Edinburgh Rugby, Rory Lawson of Gloucester Rugby and Chris Cusiter. Many have seen the irony in this, in that Scotland are lacking talent in some other positions, yet have three genuinely world class players in the same position. Blair was considered very unlucky not to gain a Lions spot. Both players would arguably fit into any side in the world, domestically and internationally. Their friendly rivalry and contrasting styles are highly beneficial to the Scottish team.

Cusiter was left on the sidelines for the opening Autumn test against Argentina in favour of Mike Blair. But Cusiter returned for the matches against Samoa and New Zealand.

2006 and the future

While Cusiter enjoyed a good run of games in the Scottish national side during 2005, he has since been let down by a string of injuries. In 2005, Cusiter sustained a knee injury against New Zealand and upon his starting return against Italy in the 2006 Six Nations he picked up a pectoral injury. After making a substitute appearance against Romania in the 2006 autumn tests he was given the all clear to start against the Pacific Islanders where he was once again struck with back luck and was stretchered off after 10 minutes.

On 18 April 2007, it was announced that Cusiter would sign for the French side Perpignan following the Border Reivers closure at the end of the 2006-07 season.


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