Monday 24 September 2018

Hines appreciates Schmidt's 'unbelievable tactical awareness'

Scotland’s assistant coach Nathan Hines. Photo: Ian Rutherford/PA
Scotland’s assistant coach Nathan Hines. Photo: Ian Rutherford/PA

Nathan Hines will look to teach the teacher a thing or two.

The former Leinster and Scotland second-row, now part of Vern Cotter's backroom team, will scheme to try undermine and overcome Joe Schmidt.

The Australian is such a valued thinker and moitvator that he will accompany Cotter to Montpellier in the summer.

First, there is the important matter of continuing to grow Scotland's game.

It all begins again in in the Six Nations at Murrayfield this afternoon.

There are few better placed to evaluate the Ireland's coach's special strengths.

"I think he brings an unbelievable tactical awareness," said Hines.

"He brings confidence to the group and he builds confidence within a rugby team, just by his belief in the players and what he presents to the players."

He makes his teams strong by uncovering weaknesses in the opposition.

"Basically, he goes through every other team with a fine tooth comb and finds weaknesses, which obviously gives your team confidence."


It is a way of doing things that suits Ireland's style of play because they are not usually the biggest or the strongest.

What they give away in size and weight, they recover through intelligence, technique and the knowledge there is not a better coach in the world.

Sadly, Schmidt's eyes and mouth on the pitch is unfit Jonathan Sexton, the perfect general to play it as Schmidt would see it.

This leadership role will be shared between the mature scrumhalf Conor Murray and the resilient outhalf Paddy Jackson.

"Johnny is a little bit more vocal than Paddy, but it's still not going to be an easy job for us," said Hines.

"The thing with Joe is that he'll have systems in place so everyone knows their roles.

"Paddy will just slot right in. He'll be executing exactly what needs to be done."

This is where Hines inside knowledge could count.

"The tactical element of the game against Ireland is immense," continued Hines.

"They find weaknesses, exploit those weaknesses and then make it very hard for you to play.

"It's just how we combat that and try to make it as difficult as we can to execute it."

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