Hines: Happy to be a Lion
Lions debutant Nathan Hines insists he has no regrets about missing the French Championship final.
Last Updated: 02/06/09 5:32pm
Nathan Hines insists he has no regrets about missing Perpignan's French Championship final, as he prepares to make his debut for the British and Irish Lions.
The 32-year-old, capped 58 times by Scotland, would have been running out at Stade de France for Perpignan's showdown with Clermont Auvergne on Saturday had he not been selected by Ian McGeechan for the tour of South Africa.
As he concludes preparations with the Lions ahead of his first appearance against Super 14 outfit the Golden Lions at Ellis Park on Wednesday, the Scotland international lock is adamant he is fully focused.
"I will have another opportunity next season to win the French title," he said. "You have got to take a Lions chance when you can. Another tour might not come around, especially when you are as old as I am.
"Perpignan were understanding, not extremely joyful, but understanding. I hope they go out and win. It would be great for the club, the players and the town because they have been waiting for it for a long time."
Hines is among 12 changes for the Lions as they look to deliver a vastly-improved display from their stuttering opener against a Royal XV in Rustenburg.
And the uncompromising second-row forward feels his game has benefited from making the move across the channel.
"Going to France with Perpignan from Edinburgh, it was a tighter game with a lot of forwards around the ball, although the backs would throw the ball about when they had an opportunity," he added.
"The team didn't mind giving a few penalties away either, but we've reined that in now. The club culture in France has changed. It is a lot more disciplined than it used to be, with a lot more phases.
"And there are things you've done over the years in your career that you can bring into a team's game-plan.
"I think going to France developed me as a player. It has helped me a lot."