Former team-mate of Jonathan Sexton in Leinster, Nathan Hines, now playing for Clermont is preparing himself to catch up with his ex fly-half team-mate on Sunday (9pm) in Day 1 of HCup between Racing Metro 92 vs ASM. It will be the occasion for the Scottish second row, TOP 14 champion with USAP, to remind the good memory of a 2011 HCup. (Credit : Julien Poupart // Attitude Rugby).
Nathan, Sunday will be the occasion for you to catch up with a old friend, Jonathan Sexton…
Oh yes! (Laughs). When he arrived at Racing, we exchanged a few words on the phone but the last time we saw each other was, in Aviva. Even though Jonny will stand in front of me on Sunday, he will always be a friend. But for the length time of a match, we will have to do abstraction of it. It want bother me too much to tackle him (Laughs). We won’t miss each other!
Especially with Leinster, you must keep good HCup memories?
For sure, I do. We have gone through many things together. They all are great memories. Unforgettable memories especially the way we won that final in Cardiff against Northampton in 2011. We were losing heavily at half-time and managed to come back and take the win thanks to Jonny! That day, we were really strong. You know what, I could never forget that day for many reasons but there is one in particular that is popping out of my head quite frenquently. I scored my first and only try with Leinster… It is my duty to keep that in mind.
What does this title represent for you?
It is very difficult to win a HCup. All the best clubs of the continent take part in this competition. Everyone dreams about branding this trophy. We managed to so with Jonny and I can tell you that it’s a bloody great feeling.
“We are looking ahead now”
Last year, you tasted to another final with ASM. Is the frustration from this defeat against RCT passed away now?
It has been six months today so yes. But it took quite a bit of time before it wear off our minds. The following week, we played against Castres in the semi-finals of TOP 14 and lost again. We really had to evacuate this final, otherwise this year we would have been incapable of winning a match. We are looking ahead now!
Can this loss be a contributing factor, an extra motivation to again qualify all the way to the final and to come out victorious of it this time?
HCup, is a sprint. And every team competing in it wants to win it. But yes, we obviously want to go all the way. We are conscious that we will have to produce excellent rugby to achieve.
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Saturday 26th August