Christopher Peter Cusiter led Scotland in eight successive matches during the 2009/10 season. He got off to a winning start to international captaincy when Scotland beat Fiji 23-10, and he continued as captain for the next game, when Scotland beat Australia 9-8, though injury forced him out of the contest after 21 minutes. During that season’s RBS 6 Nations Championship he became the 26th Scot to reach the milestone of 50 caps for his country when he led the team against Italy.
His Scotland debut was in the Six Nations Championship match against Wales in Cardiff in 2004, and his first international try followed later that year in the second Test of the tour to Australia. He scored his second Scotland try when he made a replacement appearance in the 48-6 win against Romania at Murrayfield in November 2006, and his third followed when he made a replacement appearance in the 2007 Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Argentina at Stade de France, Paris.
Chris made his first start of the 2006 RBS 6 Nations campaign against Italy in Rome but suffered a disappointment when injury forced him to leave the field after only 10 minutes: the injury caused him to miss Scotland’s 2006 tour to South Africa. Injury struck again that year when just a week after his try-scoring appearance against Romania he was carried off barely 10 minutes into the international against the Pacific Islanders, also at Murrayfield. But he was back in the national team for the Twickenham match against England on the opening day of the 2007 RBS 6 Nations Championship.
Before his start against Italy in March 2006 Chris had come on as a replacement in all of Scotland’s previous games in the Six Nations tournament as well as starting in their final two matches of the 2005 Autumn Test series against Samoa and New Zealand. Earlier in 2005 he played in six matches for the British and Irish Lions, including as a substitute in the pre-departure Test against Argentina in Cardiff. Also in 2005 he was man of the match for his battling display in Scotland’s loss to France in the opening game of the RBS 6 Nations Championship.
Chris has played four times for Scotland A, making his debut was as a second-half substitute in the victory against Romania in November 2002. He also had a replacement appearance against Fiji that month, but he had to wait until June 2009 for his first start for Scotland A, when he led the team to victory in the IRB Nations Cup in Bucharest, playing in the wins against Russia and France A and scoring a try in the first of those games.
While a pupil at Robert Gordon’s College, Chris played for North Schools at under-15, under-16 and under-18 levels as well as representing Scottish Schools at under-15, under-16 and under-18 before graduating to the Scotland under-18 team and playing in under-19 and under-21 world championships.
He was in the national under-19 team in 2001 IRB/FIRA world junior championship in Chile, and over the following two years he had eight internationals for Scotland under-21, including all five matches in that age group’s 2003 Six Nations Championship this year, scoring a stunning individual try in the 41-11 victory against Italy at his former home ground, Countesswells, Aberdeen. However, his participation in the subsequent IRB Under 21 World Championship in England was severely curtailed when his right knee was injured in the opening match against Wales at Henley-on-Thames.
Chris, who played his club rugby with Watsonians and Boroughmuir, was enlisted to train with Glasgow Rugby before joining Borders and then moving to Perpignan in 2007. After season 2008-2009 he returned to Scottish rugby by joining Glasgow, making his debut in the Firhill win against defending champions Munster with which Warriors opened their Magners League campaign.
His brother, Calum, also a scrum half, has played age-grade rugby for Scotland and, like Chris, played club rugby at Boroughmuir. They linked up again in season 2006/07 when Calum signed a contract with Border Reivers. Their late father, Stan, was stand-off for Gordonians and also represented North and Midlands.