But having left Heineken Cup champions Leinster in the summer for Clermont Auvergne, currently second in the Top 14, Hines has taken the decision to walk away from test rugby as Andy Robinson looks to rebuild his squad for the 2012 RBS 6 Nations after a disappointing World Cup.
"It's not a decision I've taken lightly," said Hines. "Leann [his wife] and I want to have another kid and that will probably involve going through IVF again and with the Six Nations coming up then a tour next summer that would be really difficult. Our son, Josh, starts school in January and that would make it hard to travel like I've done in the past.
"It's also the end of a cycle. I played in this World Cup and I don't think I'll be around as a player come the next World Cup in 2015, especially when you consider we have perfectly capable second-rows to fill my position.
"I wanted to finish my career on my terms and didn't want to be the player that played one year too many. I will always want to play for Scotland, even when I'm 50 I'll still want to play, but I guess it's time to move on. This was the reason I was so emotional after the England game as I know how difficult it will be to give up.
"There have been heaps of memorable moments, not all on the playing side either," Hines said. "You always remember your first cap and there've been good results, beating South Africa a couple of times and beating Australia. But most of the stuff you remember are things that have happened on a tour or on a bus or in a changing room."