Derrick Patterson, the twice capped Scotland scrum half, who has been ''on loan'' to Caledonia from Edinburgh for the Heineken European Cup, will continue to play for his newly adopted district.

A statement from Scottish Rugby Union headquarters read: ''Following a review at Murrayfield of player-drafting procedures, it was decided that Derrick Patterson should play for Cale-donia Reds, although the matter will be kept under review with particular regard to the availability of scrum halves in Edinburgh.

What in effect the last part of the statement implies is that were Edinburgh to suffer injuries to either of their leading scrum halves - Graeme Burns and Graeme Beveridge - then the capi- tal side would be able to recall Patterson.

A somewhat anxious situation then for the player himself, especially as the two districts are due to play each other in the European Qualifying tournament a week on Sunday.

This weekend Beveridge, having missed three weeks of European rugby because of a back injury, will play for his club, Boroughmuir, in the League Trophy competition.

Burns, meanwhile, is expected to recover from a hamstring strain and will be named in the Edinburgh side for the inter-city match against Glasgow at Scotstoun on Sunday, with Rogerson on the bench.

The ''Patterson affair'' blew up on Monday, when Edinburgh's chief executive Ian Gibson issued a statement which said: ''Now that the European Rugby Cup games for Caledonia have ended, Derrick Patterson returns to the Edinburgh squad and starts training with them at Murrayfield tomorrow,'' which was on Tuesday.

Caledonia and Edinburgh officials met on Tuesday at Murrayfield with the SRU to discuss the matter, and, according to Jim Telfer, the Scotland director of rugby, there was quite an amicable settlement.

''Everyone was very positive,'' said Telfer, who first declared his hand on drafting during the Scotland tour to New Zealand last year.

Then Telfer gave a strong impression that he was in favour of the kind of drafting system that New Zealand employ to achieve success in the Super 12 competition.

Yesterday, Telfer suggested that drafting had not been adopted as a general policy in Scottish rugby. ''We have to look at each case separately,'' he said.

On the face of it, the hugely different situations regarding scrum halves in Edinburgh and Cale-donia cried out for a drafting solution.

At the outset of the season, Edinburgh had three SRU contracted scrum halves on their books - Patterson, Burns, and Beveridge - and, in addition, had the services of Doug Rogerson, the Currie player who had represented Scotland in the Student World Cup last year.

It should also be said that Edinburgh faced a crisis situation at hooker, arguably one of the factors that accounted for several poor mid-campaign performances in the European Conference.

This, too, perhaps called for some kind of drafting, although hooker is a position in which there is currently a national shortage of quality players.

For their part, Caledonia found themselves in a serious situation when their leading scrum half, Phil Simpson, was ruled out for the season because of groin injury.

Patterson's self-initiated draft solved their problem in a stroke. Moreover Patterson, as first-choice scrum half for Caledonia, and thus having gained maximum exposure to European rugby, has done his career prospects no harm.

Caledonia themselves have been pleased with Patterson's presence.

''Derrick fitted in comfortably with our squad. He played very well and settled in both on and off the pitch,'' said Nick Oswald, the Caledonia chief executive, who added: ''We are now very relieved and pleased that he is available to play for us.''

As to what will happen next season is anyone's guess.

If the policy of players being required to join clubs within the district they represent is implemented, then Patterson could find himself in a pickle.

It is understood that Patterson is on contract with Heriot's FP for two years and would, therefore, under the proposed scheme, automatically become an Edinburgh player.

Being a professional player may have put Patterson's bank balance in the black, but don't rule out the player himself ending up in the Reds next season.