Planet Rugby

Perfect preparation for Clermont

25th April 2013 16:32


Nathan Hines Clermont HEC 2013

Priceless experience: Nathan Hines

Clermont lock Nathan Hines says last week's victory against Toulouse was ideal preparation for Saturday's Heineken Cup semi-final against Munster.

Clermont lived up to their favourites tag with a commanding, four-try 39-17 victory over the French champions which saw Sitiveni Sivivatu cross twice.

Les Jaunards stumbled at the semi-final hurdle last year against Leinster, with whom Hines won the title in 2011, but he says he has not been called upon to provide any inside knowledge on Saturday's opponents gleaned from his two seasons in Ireland.

"The backroom staff here are pretty good," said the British and Irish Lions second row, who will make his 76th Heineken Cup appearance this weekend.

"They don't need me to tell them just how much quality Munster can bring to a Heineken Cup knock-out game - particularly after their win away to Harlequins.

"That's not an arrogance on our part. We focus on our Top 14 games from week to week and last week our focus was on Toulouse, that's a huge game for us. We wouldn't be getting ahead of ourselves and looking at Munster before time, not at all.

"The game against Toulouse was very good preparation for us - it's a high pressure game in front of a big crowd, so it's obviously going to replicate the conditions you'd face in the Heineken Cup game.

"As long as nobody gets injured then you can't get better preparation than a big game. Still, a player can get injured walking onto the field for a training session, that's a risk that's always there anyway.

"Vern brings a New Zealand approach to organisation, which is probably a more Anglo-Saxon approach than French.

"That makes Clermont different to other clubs in France - here we just have to concentrate on our rugby and everything else is looked after for us."

  • Champions Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale15:15
Castres vs Leinster13:00
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
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Recent Results
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Saturday , October 18
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
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Pool 1
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
3Sale Sharks11
4Clermont Auvergne11
Pool 2
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
Pool 3
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
2Leicester Tigers14
Pool 4
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
1Glasgow Warriors15
Pool 5
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
2Racing Metro Paris14