Hines set for Exiles test

Perpignan lock says trip to London Irish will be huge Heineken Cup test.

Last Updated: 03/12/07 5:44pm

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Hines: Big test

Hines: Big test

Sky Bet

Perpignan skipper Nathan Hines says his side face a real test when they travel to face fellow unbeaten side London Irish in their Heineken Cup clash on Sunday.

Both sides go head-to-head at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday putting their unbeaten records in the competition on the line.

The French club have been struggling badly for away form so far this season but need to find their feet on their travels if they are to topple the Exiles at the top of the group.

After producing a fine away win against Newport-Gwent Dragons, Hines accepts London Irish will provide them with the sternest of tests.

"London Irish have really raised the stakes by winning away at the Dragons and we now have to look at getting away victories to keep us in the race," said Hines.

"Although our away form has been pretty terrible, recently it has improved greatly and we have nearly snatched a couple of key away victories so, as long as we can keep improving, the away victories to get qualification are not impossible."

Qualification

Hines says they are not yet thinking about securing home advantage for the quarter-finals, and merely just want to progress from Pool 1.

"Although we all want a quarter-final in Barcelona, at the moment we are just focused on actually qualifying," added the Scotland international lock.

"I know that Perpignan have never played London Irish but I played them, in the Heineken Cup when I was with Edinburgh and they are a strong side.

"Any team who can go away and put nearly 50 points on the Dragons is a big threat and they seem to be playing really well at the moment.

"This is going to be a massive test for us."

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