Hines heading to Clermont
March 17, 2011
Hines is heading back to France after a two-year stint with Irish province Leinster © Getty Images
Scotland international Nathan Hines has agreed a switch from Magners League side Leinster to Top 14 giants Clermont Auvergne on a two-year deal.
The 34-year-old lock or flanker has signed a one-year contract with an additional one-year option and will join his new club after the conclusion of the World Cup in late October. The move will see Hines return to France where he played for Perpignan before joining Leinster in 2009.
"The Leinster coaches were keen to keep me, but there wasn't an offer from the club and I had a few from France which was very flattering," Hines told The Scotsman. "I had to weigh up a few things about what I want to do, and feel able to do, and what I want for my family, but Clermont were very enthusiastic and they have a great set-up.
"There was no doubt about me being released to play for Scotland so I won't actually join them until after the World Cup, providing I'm selected of course, and that was important to me. But they have also made a few other good signings so, although they've already got a very strong squad, they could be even stronger next season and it's great to be joining a club with its eyes on the top silverware."
Clermont missed out on a Heineken Cup quarter-final place this season but sit fourth in the Top 14 and are well placed for the play-offs again. The club's team manager is Neil McIlroy, the former Jed-Forest, Border Reivers and Scotland U21 prop who has also overseen the recruitment of Lee Byrne from the Ospreys, Scarlets centre Regan King and David Skrela from Toulouse.
He told the newspaper, "We're chuffed to get big Hinesy. He is a good signing because we wanted to replace Thibault Privat [who is joining Montpellier] with a similar animal. We have a young lock coming through the academy, and some grunt on the left-hand side but we wanted a hard guy that knows his way around the rugby field and has some leadership skills."
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