Nathan Hines calls time on Scotland career

Nathan Hines in action for Scotland
Hines earned 77 caps for his country

Scotland forward Nathan Hines has announced his retirement from international rugby.

The 34-year-old lock won 77 caps for Scotland during an 11-year spell.

The Australia-born player, currently with French side Clermont Auvergne, was called up for the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa in 2009.

"He is one of Scotland's toughest ever competitors and a fantastic role model for all young Scottish players," said Scotland head coach Andy Robinson.

Hines suffered two major injuries either side of making his Scotland debut against New Zealand, keeping him out of rugby for 18 months.

He made himself unavailable for selection in 2005 while Scotland were coached by Matt Williams, returning to the international fold under Frank Hadden.

Scotland attack coach Gregor Townsend, who played alongside Hines between 2000 and 2003, said: "I first met Nathan when he joined our tour to New Zealand as a replacement in 2000.

"What an effort he made to come back from serious injury early in his career and he went on to become one of the best ever players to pull on the Scotland jersey.

"I thought he was really unlucky on the 2009 Lions tour to South Africa.

"He played so well yet did not get into the Test team and, remember, he played in the back-row on that tour and looked the part, which shows what a player he is."

Robinson added: "For him to play the way he has for Scotland on so many occasions has been fantastic.

"He had a couple of serious injuries, he's been able to play all round the world and perform very, very well and that's what you want from a player; the player that will turn and always give everything.

"He was always calm before a game but when he went on the pitch he absolutely delivered a phenomenal performance every single time.

"To have that ability to do that is a great skill."

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