Nathan Hines would love to play a starring role in Scotland's RBS 6 Nations clash with Ireland - but admits he may only be fit enough for a cameo appearance.
Perpignan lock Hines is set to complete a surprise comeback from knee surgery after being named on the bench for tomorrow’s game at Murrayfield.
The 32-year-old was expected to miss the entire championship after going under the knife last month but he has come through a brutal rehabilitation process unscathed.
He has not played since January, making his match fitness a real concern, and he revealed he would not fancy an early introduction tomorrow should the worst happen to Jason White or Jim Hamilton.
“Two months ago was the last time I played but obviously I think I’m as fit as I can be without having to play games,” Hines said.
“If Jim goes down or Jason goes down after three minutes then it could be a hard day for me but I think it’s going to be hard whether I play 20 minutes or 65.”
Hines worked his way back to fitness alongside Hamilton, who missed the Italy game two weeks ago with a shoulder problem.
Hamilton revealed earlier this week how the pair had indulged in a sumo-style training session last Friday, which saw them smash their 18-stone-plus frames into each other as hard as they could to ensure they were completely over their injuries.
The Edinburgh lock hinted he had come out on top, but Hines was having none of it, saying: “He lied, he lied!
“We ended up with a 10 by 10 square, then a five by five, then a three by three, then a two by two, and you had to score.
“I was quicker, but when it got down to the close quarters, and he got me, he got me! But there were no winners or losers.
“It was tackle or be tackled and if we hadn’t come through that, we wouldn’t have gone through to Monday, to scrummaging and line-outs.
“You really have to test it there and then. You don’t want to go into a game not confident enough that you’re going to be able to take a knock.”