Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Hines relives debut feeling

Nathan Hines

A decade on from his debut, Nathan Hines is experiencing a similar sensation as Scotland prepare to meet New Zealand.

Hines has won 64 caps since making his debut as a substitute against the All Blacks in a 48-14 loss in Auckland in June 2000, and has been named as a replacement for Saturday's clash at Murrayfield.

"I remember I really wanted to tackle Jonah Lomu, because he was in the New Zealand team," said the 33-year-old. "But I don't remember much to be honest, just a feeling of wanting to get on and do as well as I could. It's sort of the same situation really, wanting to get into the game as early as I can and try to make an impact."

Hines, who was on compassionate leave and missed the summer tour to Argentina where Scotland secured a first southern hemisphere series success, will provide second-row cover for Jim Hamilton and Richie Gray this weekend.

He predicted a bright future for Gray, the 21-year-old 6ft 8in, 19st 9lbs Glasgow Warriors lock.

"I think he's got a long future ahead of him, he still needs to learn a couple of things," added Hines.

"The learning curve's going to be steep, especially this weekend, but I don't think it's beyond his capabilities.

"I'm excited to see him play - I'm not especially excited that he's playing in front of me, but I know that I'm one of the older ones in the team and I'm not going to be playing forever.

"He's going to be holding that shirt for quite a long time."