Hines banking on investment

Scotland lock Nathan Hines has backed Sir David Murray's claims that Scottish sport is in dire need of new facilities. [more]

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Scotland lock Nathan Hines has backed Sir David Murray’s claims that Scottish sport is in dire need of new facilities.

Murray’s privately-owned company, Murray International, will invest £2.7million in Scottish rugby over three years.

The Rangers owner urged the Government and other private businesses to follow his lead by pouring money into sport in Scotland, saying: "We as a nation have fallen behind many other countries when it comes to sport.

"Look at the national institute of sport in Australia – we have nothing in Scotland.

"We have to encourage athletes, nurture them and give them the facilities."

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Hines was brought up in New South Wales before moving to Scotland in 1998.

And having moved to France from Edinburgh to play for Perpignan, the 30-year-old is perfectly placed to make comparisons.

Hines, who flies out to France on Wednesday with the rest of the Scotland squad to prepare for the World Cup opener against Portugal on Sunday, said: "We have got facilities in Scotland but they are spread out all over the place and some are a bit ageing.

"It would be good if there was more investment from private businesses because funding is essential for any sport.

"You don’t want to spoon-feed athletes but the easier you an make it for them to achieve then the better it will be for everybody.

"In each state in Australia they have an Institute of Sport and they also have a National Institute of Sport.

"So it would be good if there was a centre somewhere in Scotland that had everything.

"And we should have more indoor facilities. At Perpignan we have a 3G pitch (artificial turf) just outside the stadium that never freezes over.

"There are another three 3G pitches about half a mile away.

"That comes from the Government and local council who always invest in sporting facilities."

Murray claimed it was obesity rather than sectarianism that was Scotland’s modern shame.

Hines concurred but admitted people have to be inspired themselves to play sport.

He said: "If there were facilities, there would be more onus put on sport and maybe we wouldn’t have problems with obesity.

"It comes down to people as well. If they don’t want to do it, they won’t.

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