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Perfect preparation for Clermont

25th April 2013 16:32

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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."

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European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
Saturday , December 6
Sale vs Saracens13:00
Munster vs Clermont Auvergne15:15
Harlequins vs LeinsterTBC
Leicester vs ToulonTBC
Ulster vs ScarletsTBC
Montpellier vs BathTBC
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Saturday , October 25
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
Sunday , October 19
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
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Pool 1
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PosTeamPPts
1Munster28
2Saracens25
3Sale Sharks11
4Clermont Auvergne11
Pool 2
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1Leinster14
2Harlequins14
3Wasps11
4Castres10
Pool 3
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
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1Toulon28
2Scarlets24
3Leicester Tigers24
4Ulster21
Pool 4
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1Glasgow Warriors29
2Toulouse28
3Montpellier22
4Bath21
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1Northampton25
2Ospreys25
3Racing Metro Paris14
4Treviso10