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Hines calls Blues about babies in shadow of showdown

LEINSTER star turned rival Nathan Hines has revealed that himself and Leo Cullen have been on the phone ahead of the big game.

But rather than getting jibes in about the upcoming Heineken Cup final, the rugby hardmen have been engaging in baby talk.

Hines, who won the trophy with Leinster last year, will line out against his former club for Clermont Auvergne this weekend.

However, while you might expect some tension between him and his ex-teammates, the lock says that he has had some friendly exchanges with Brian O'Driscoll, Leo Cullen and Isa Nacewa.

"I had Leo Cullen on the phone, but we have not talked about the match.

"I simply said that his wife [Darina], who is expecting a child, must be scared it has the same mind as him. We just joked, that's all," he laughed.

He added that Nacewa and Leinster forwards coach Jono Gibbs had been in touch by text message, while Brian O'Driscoll was busy tweeting.

"It was good luck, it's not bad," the Australian said.

He added that it is "special" to be playing Leinster in Heineken Cup semi-final but "it it's still a rugby match".

"I know they are ready. The European Cup is their major goal of the season."

Huge pressure is being put on the 35-year-old by the local Clermont supporters who believe that he has an inside track with his former Leinster squad.