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Hines set to power charge of Clermont

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Nathan Hines

Nathan Hines

Nathan Hines

Leinster Rugby hasn't made too many mistakes in recent seasons, but the decision to let Nathan Hines go was definitely a big one.

The Australian-born, Scotland international lock wanted a two-year contract extension when Leinster were only willing to give him one.

And so he left for France in the summer of 2011 and is still going strong enough to hold centre stage in a bruising Clermont-Auvergne forward pack.

What Leinster have lost, Clermont have gained in a corruptible force of forward power, hell bent on destruction without the ball and creativity with it against a Toulon pack fronted by Bakkies Botha.

The 36-year-old stands on the threshold of history as just the fourth man to win the Heineken Cup with two different clubs and, possibly, the first player to score a try in two finals.

GARLANDS

He is not too interested in the personal garlands: "I will just be happy if we win. If you score a try in the Heineken Cup final and lose, that is not going to be a happy story really," he said.

"We are better placed now than we were before. Everything is in place for us. But, we have to go and win it."

Hines is one of those characters that every team craves and every other team dreads for his physical prowess. He is Clermont's enforcer beside Jamie Cudmore in the second row.

"I think it is a label. But, there are worse labels isn't there? It's not a question of do what you can do, but to do the best for your team," he said.

Clermont Auvergne: L Byrne; S Sivivatu, A Rougerie (capt), W Fofana, N Nalaga; B James, M Parra; T Domingo, B Kayser, D Zirakashvili, J Cudmore, N Hines, J Bonnaire, G Vosloo, D Chouly.

Toulon: D Armitage; R Wulf, M Bastareaud, M Giteau, A Palisson; J Wilkinson (capt), S Tillous-Borde; A Sheridan, S Bruno, C Hayman, B Botha, N Kennedy, D Rossouw, J M Fernandez Lobbe, C Masoe.


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