STIRLING’S Finn Russell’s spot atop the pecking order at fly-half for Vern Cotter’s World Cup squad is entirely down to his own hard work, insists Scotland legend Chris Paterson.

The 22-year-old No.10 enjoyed his best season yet for club and country, lifting the Guinness Pro12 trophy on May 30 with Glasgow Warriors after shining in Scotland’s autumn internationals and Six Nations campaign.

Having made his debut in a dark blue jersey last summer against the USA, former Wallace High School pupil Russell seems to have solved Scotland’s long-standing issues at fly-half – a one-game Six Nations ban for a dangerous challenge on Dan Biggar the only blip on an otherwise very impressive beginning to his international career.

And Paterson, still Scotland’s most-capped player and leading points scorer, believes Russell has all the qualities required to make a big splash at September’s World Cup.

He said: “Finn is a new breed of player in some senses. He seems so free and gives off this carefree aura, but as a player he’s very determined, understands the game and works hard.

“It’s clear he’s enjoying his rugby as well. How often do players forget the enjoyment element of it? Finn trains so hard, is very disciplined and he’s been outstanding. I’m sure he’ll continue to be outstanding and all with a great big smile on his face, so it’s great to see. Finn clearly works well every day at Glasgow with Gregor Townsend, who is a fantastic coach with fantastic experience.

“He has helped Finn so much at Glasgow, but it also shows how much Finn is willing to listen and to learn, and he will continue to improve. He’s been through ups and downs of his own as well with the suspension and everything that came with it from the incident against Wales.

“So he is mentally tough too. But it’s not about one man, or three or four men. Everyone has to train competitively and work hard and play to the top of their game come September.” Paterson was speaking on Sunday at the Land Rover Rugby Trophy Tour event at Highland RFC in Inverness.

Land Rover are a Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2015 and – along with recruiting all 96 official mascots for Rugby World Cup 2015 as part of its We Deal In Real campaign – the Trophy Tour will travel through the UK and Ireland before arriving at Twickenham Stadium on 18 September ahead of the opening ceremony.

The 100-day journey will engage fans at over 100 grassroots and elite rugby clubs, and give them the opportunity to get a close-up view of the Webb Ellis Cup and build unforgettable memories as part of their own Rugby World Cup 2015 story.

And Paterson, a four-time World Cup veteran, hopes the tour could inspire young players across Scotland to pull on the dark blue jersey themselves one day.

The 37-year-old said: “It’s absolutely brilliant and inspiring to see all the kids turning out. I’ve been with the trophy for the whole of the five-day Scottish leg, and everyone is just in awe of this fabulous trophy – hopefully some of them will even be inspired to compete for Scotland one day. I absolutely love being here to see all of them. I can still remember as a kid seeing the trophy going around here before the 1991 World Cup, and what a big impact it had on me. We are 95 days out from the World Cup now and the excitement here is really building already. The trophy carries so much stature, so for it to get up here, to Glasgow, Aberdeen, the Highlands and all the other places it has been is brilliant.” Chris Patterson was speaking on behalf of Land Rover at Highland RFC when Land Rover and the Rugby World Cup 2015 Defender brought the Webb Ellis Cup to the grassroots club, as part of the 100 Day Tour of the UK and Ireland. Follow @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal