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Hines' expected move to France puts Leinster in market for second-row

LEINSTER are in the market for a second-row, with Scottish international Nathan Hines expected to move to France at the end of the season.

Although it has yet to be confirmed, it's understood that the 34-year-old has been offered a two-year contract, believed to be with Stade Francais, which would reunite Australian-born Hines with Michael Cheika, the coach who brought him to Leinster in 2009.

Although Leinster declined to comment, Hines' age and the fact that he is expected to be away for a significant portion of next season due to his involvement with Scotland's World Cup campaign, increase the likelihood of his departure.

Stade Francais can offer Hines a significant contract and a two-year deal at 34 constitutes an attractive offer. Hines knows the country and language well from his previous spell with Perpignan.

Hines has produced a string of excellent displays for Joe Schmidt's side this season, adapting to the off-loading game promoted by the New Zealand coach and forming a fine partnership with captain Leo Cullen.

Irish Independent