All posts by prydey27

Aussie born Hines unfazed by country conflict

Adopted Scot Hines has been capped 58 times

Scotland rugby star Nathan Hines will face the ultimate test of loyalty when he lines up for his adopted nation in the Autumn International Test against Australia at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Despite being born and raised in his native Australia, Hines has played an integral part for Scotland since making his debut in 2002.

The 58 times capped lock joins an illustrious list of ‘Adopted Scots’, and like his predecessors there will be no conflict of interests come Saturday.

“It’s the same as every game for me,” said Hines in a recent interview with the BBC. “It doesn’t matter who I’m playing, Ill always give my all for Scotland.

“Obviously there is the added incentive of the fact I’m playing my homeland, but Ive lived here for 15 years now and I feel Scottish.

There will be no doubts over where my loyalties will lie come Saturday.”

Scotland have previously used the ‘adopted citizen’ rule to full effect, having called up a host of foreign-born players in the past including Kiwi Glen Metcalfe and Englishman Ben Cairns.

The SRU recently courted controversy by appointing Ex-England International Andy Robinson as head coach in June 2009.

In their entire history of past coaches, the Scotland Rugby side have only appointed one foreigner, Australian Matt Williams, who was sacked in 2005 after a disastrous 2 year spell in charge, and some fans have raised doubts over the employment of another non-Scot.

However, SRU Youth Coach Michael Davidson is confident that Robinson will give nothing less than 100% when he leads his side out against a formidable Australian team on Saturday.

Davidson exclusively told EdinburghNapierNews: “He is a fantastic coach and we are very lucky to have him,”

“I don’t think it matters where he is from, he has the ability to turn the team around and that’s the most important factor for me.

“I don’t think the Scotland fans will care much about Robinsons nationality should he achieve the impossible and beat Australia.”

After last week’s comprehensive 23-10 win over Fuji at Murrayfield, Scotland will be brimming with confidence going into the clash against a country they haven’t defeated since 1982.

Fans will also be buoyed at the news Captain Mike Blair and Flanker Johnnie Beattie have both travelled with the squad ahead of the game.

Fans gear up for Capital clash

By Mark Pryde and David Maxwell

Edinburgh has been gripped by football fever as city rivals Hearts and Hibernian gear up for one of the most important derbies in over a decade.

Saturday’s game at Tynecastle comes at a pivitol moment in the season for both sides who find themselves at opposing ends of the Scottish Premier League.

Home side Hearts are currently in 8th place having suffered their worst start to the SPL season in 9 years, and under-pressure boss Csaba Laszlo is hoping a vital win over their fiercest rivals will propel the Jambos up the league standings.

“We have had an inconsistent season,” said last season’s Manager of the Year Lazlo. “Our results have been up and down, and we must get results.”

“Goals change games, and we havent been scoring enough recently. Tomorrow’s derby gives us a chance to change this, and get ourselve some points.

“Im confident we have what it takes to beat Hibs.”

One major criticism of Laszlo  this season has been an over-reliance on younger players, but 20-year-old midfielder Jonny Thomson believes his manager has little choice.

“Experienced players cost a lot of money nowadays,” said Thomson. “I dont think any SPL side can afford to buy success, so youth players are getting more of a chance.”

“You just need to look at players in our squad like Craig Thomson and Lee Wallace to see that blooding youngsters has its advantages.”

Across the city in Leith, Hibernian have started the season brightly and now find themselves 2nd in the league, one point ahead of SPL champions Rangers.

New boss John Hughes has made some shrewd moves in the transfer market including the signing of Irish pair Liam Miller and Anthony Stokes from Sunderland, and the Hibees are unbeaten in their last 6 league games.

Hibs fans will be hoping that a derby win on Saturday could provide a launchpad for a serious challenge against the traditional Old Firm dominance of the SPL.

“I do think the pressure is on them, they have to start winning football matches,” said Hibs Gaffer Hughes. They are at home and it is up to them to come out and win it.

“As such, it is going to be an interesting game tactically and I’m looking forward to that battle as well.
“On these occasions, the form book goes right out the window. We have to apply ourselves, keep our concentration. Derbies often come down to who has that wee bit of a maverick in their team to win the game and I think we can do that.”

The Edinburgh Derby has provided some classic encounters over the past few years, but fans from both sides of the divide will simply be hoping to see their side come away with maximum points on the day.

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FOREST PITCH TOPS SCOTS ENTRIES

Craig Coulthard's design for the 'Forest Pitch'

An Edinburgh based artist is to spend nearly half a million pounds creating a football pitch in the middle of a secluded forest to mark the start of the Olympic Games in 2012.

The lottery funded project, chosen from a shortlist of 98, is to be built solely from natural resources and artist Craig Coulthard, 28, is hopeful his work will act as a lasting reminder to the London games.

Entitled Forest Pitch, the project will only be used for one day before being left alone for nature to take its course.

Two games, men and women’s, will take place at the remote woodland location in the Scottish Borders, hours before the opening Olympic ceremony in London.

“I am really proud to have been given the opportunity to complete this project; to be able to bring an initial idea to fruition, it is what I guess all artists aim for,” said artist Craig.

“I’ve worked hard to get the proposal to this stage, and I’m looking forward to working with my team to create an exciting and worthy Scottish addition to the Cultural Olympiad.”

Twelve separate areas of Britain were asked to nominate an art project for funding. Other regional artwork examples include a mile high spinning cloud in the North West, and the temporary relocation of an Arctic island in the South West.

Each region of England was given £500,000 to spend on a project whilst Mr. Coulthard, as Scotland’s entry, was given £460,000 to fund his pitch idea.

However, some art critics have slammed the project claiming it is a waste of lottery money that could have been better spent elsewhere.

“I think there are much better ways to utilise the money,” said Edinburgh Napier University Design student Garry Collins. “I don’t believe the project will break any boundaries, which is what it should be doing.”

“If you look at projects from other areas, you can see that Scotland could have been so much more ambitious.”