'Nathan Hines is potential match-winner for Clermont in Heineken Cup'

Last Updated: 17/05/13 2:51pm

Nathan Hines is crucial for Clermont's cause in Saturday's Heineken Cup final, Will Greenwood told The Rugby Club.

The 36-year-old Australian-born lock has already tasted glory in the competition when he scored a try in Leinster's victory two years ago and now his team face mighty Toulon in the fourth all-French final.

Clermont have won all seven previous games in this season's Heineken Cup but some have questioned their mentality in big finals having lost the French Championship final 10 times before finally coming through in 2010.

"Hines has got the T-shirt," Greenwood told Sky Sports ahead of the match, which is being shown live on Sky Sports 1 HD and Sky 3D from 4pm.

"Clermont are a side labelled with the tag that in finals they find it difficult to get over the finish line, but Hines has got that composure. He's a cunning old fox for a big man.

"They are a wonderful side but if you stop them up front they become a little narrower and they find it hard to move. Hines has got a key role in the side.

"He'll get the pack going forward against the Toulon big boys, allowing the likes of Brock James to power on and get on the front foot. And if that happens, they will keep coming at you."


With Toulon also having lost their last four finals, many are predicting a tense and edgy encounter in Dublin with so much at stake.


Clermont Auvergne v Toulon
4pm, Sat
Sky Sports 1 HD/Sky 3D

Stuart Barnes added: "It's a final and finals are more mental than technical. If you play in cup finals at any level you understand that.

"A team can be outplaying you but you look them in the eyes and you're thinking 'they're better than us but they're scared they don't believe they can win'.

"And that's Cleremont's historical record. The tighter this game is then the more it will suit Toulon. They don't score tries and and Clermont score lots of tries. Clermont can kick goals but you don't always bet on it in a crisis.

"Toulon will kick and drop their goals with players like Jonny Wilkinson and back-row Juan Martin Fernandez-Lobbe.

The more this game gets tighter and the more all their experience playing all over the world comes into it then the lesser teams become the team who can win the bigger prize."