Former player Nathan Hines detours to Scotland coaching role

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland
Scotland resource coach Nathan Hines
Nathan Hines oversees Scotland training
Scotland v Italy
Date: Saturday, 29 August Venue: Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh Kick-off: 15:15 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW and online

Nathan Hines did not envisage going into coaching when his playing days were over but the former Scotland lock forward now finds himself playing a crucial role in preparing the team for a World Cup.

Hines, 39, retired from playing at Sale Sharks last season and was then asked by Scotland head coach Vern Cotter to take up the role of resource coach.

The pair had previously worked together at Clermont Auvergne.

"If you asked me 10 years ago I wouldn't have said it was the first thing I wanted to do," Hines told BBC Scotland.

"But I got older and got more experience. [I could] articulate things, what we should be doing and detach myself from the group because of my age and it sort of became a natural progression.

"When I was with Vern at Clermont I organised the line-out, the attack and defence so that is the sort of thing that happened a lot."

Australian-born Hines was capped 77 times for Scotland before retiring from international rugby in 2011, having played in two World Cups for his adopted country.

Scotland players with resource coach Nathan Hines
Hines provides the Scotland players with water during the recent win in Italy

After Saturday's meeting with Italy, Cotter will announce his final 31-man squad for the World Cup and Hines admits it will be a worrying time for players waiting to find out if they have been picked.

"As a player it is one of the things that you can't control," he explained. "For my perspective when I was a player I didn't worry about it too much because I didn't want to tie myself in knots about something I couldn't control.

"All the players have to do is play well and then the hard job is down to the coaches to pick the squad. I think the next 48 hours will be tough for them but there is nothing they can do."

A number of players, including Alex Dunbar Ryan Grant and Sean Maitland, have missed the build-up to the World Cup with injury and Hines believes the coaching staff will seek medical advice before making any decision on whether to include them in the final squad.

"We are not physios and doctors so we will speak to the medical staff and see where they are at and if they are ready to play," he added.

"Obviously, if they are not fit they cannot come."