Hines to miss Stade de France clash
February 10, 2009
Scotland lock Nathan Hines is hoping to be fit for Saturday's fixture with France © Getty Images
Scotland have been dealt a blow with the news that lock Nathan Hines will miss Saturday's Six Nations match with France and likely the remainder of the championship after being booked in for exploratory knee surgery.
Prop Euan Murray has also failed to recover from the rib injury that kept him from facing Wales at Murrayfield on Saturday. Murray is expected to be fit in time for Scotland's home game with Italy on February 28 while Scotland doctor James Robson anticipates that Hines could be missing for anything between two and five weeks.
Scotland boss Frank Hadden has delayed naming his squad for the game in order to allow prop Geoff Cross and wing Simon Webster enough time to recover from concussions sustained against Wales. Cross, who made his debut on Saturday, was knocked unconscious whilst taking Wales fullback Lee Byrne out in the air while Webster was knocked out making a tackle on Wales' stand-in skipper Martyn Williams. Both players took part in an exercise session on Tuesday morning, but Cross is struggling with strains to both of his knees.
"Because he was knocked out almost instantaneously, he damaged both knees as he fell to the ground," Robson said. "It was his knees that were causing him problems this morning in terms of being mobile."
While the news is bleak for Hines, elsewhere Scotland have received boosts. Hadden was sweating the fitness of 10 players ahead of the game, but all those players took a full part in training on Tuesday.
Scotland will need to bounce back from a limp display against Wales if they are to make any impact on a France side the looked impressive despite defeat to Ireland at Croke Park.
"Having had a chat with several of the players over the past 24 hours, they are still hurting, as we all were," said Scotland defence coach Graham Steadman. "But it's important we don't dwell on it, we park it and move on, and the mood in the camp is certainly a lot better today. I've been very impressed by the honesty of the players in our review. There has been no-one hiding under tables.
"But the most important thing is that now they step forward and put in a performance that merits a Scotland shirt."
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
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The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland