Hines ready for France battle
Forward hopes recent form can help Scotland improve Paris record
Last Updated: 01/02/11 4:59pm
Hines: looking forward to first match
Scotland's Nathan Hines says he and his team-mates are keen to get their RBS Six Nations campaign under way and "tear into" champions France when the two sides meet on Saturday.
Andy Robinson's side open 2011 having won five of their last six Tests but must also contend with a record which has seen them win just twice in Paris in the last 42 years.
The 67-times capped Hines heeded Robinson's call on Tuesday for Scotland to stand toe-to-toe with France, saying: "Everybody's keen to tear into them".
"It's going to be, no doubt, physical, but we're preparing ourselves for it."
Hines has been named at blindside flanker for the match, a row further back than his customary position of lock - where captain Alastair Kellock and Richie Gray will pack down.
The 34-year-old will therefore play alongside openside John Barclay and number eight Kelly Brown.
He said: "Once it gets past second and third phase it's not so much different. I'm looking forward to it."
Hines insisted that Scotland will not be burdened by their poor record in Paris - they have won just once in the Stade de France in 1999 - preferring instead to concentrate on their recent improvement.
"History in France would suggest the pressure is firmly on them," added Hines.
"They're going to have to struggle to keep their home record intact against us.
"We're just worried about going out and playing the way we can and the way we have been.
"Our form has been good and we just want to continue that.
"Last year we were slow starters in the Six Nations and we can't let that happen again."
Scotland lost their opening three games in 2010 before drawing with England and beating Ireland in Dublin.
Hines, who made his Test debut in 2000, insists Scotland must deliver against France, who will be looking to respond from their 59-16 loss to Australia last November.
He said: "We just have to make sure we do everything we can and play well at the weekend or we're not going to have a chance at all."