Fixtures - Top Bar

Hines: Sale Sharks’ Paterson in England mix

He may have missed the England boat this month but Nathan Hines insists Sale Sharks teammate Michael Paterson is right on the cusp of a Test debut.

Despite touring with Stuart Lancaster’s squad to the land of his birth – New Zealand – earlier this year, Paterson has been overlooked for the autumn internationals.

The usual suspects – Courtney Lawes, Joe Launchbury and Dave Attwood – and Saracens’ George Kruis have made up the second row quartet as England have slipped to defeats at the hands of New Zealand and South Africa.

And Hines, who has been prevented from partnering Paterson in Sale’s second row in recent weeks by an arm injury, believes his side’s indifferent form has played a part in the 29-year-old’s exclusion.

“He’s not far off the others,” said Hines. “Courtney [Lawes] and Joe [Launchbury] are a little bit more physical but Michael and Dave [Attwood] are quite similar, they play more like a back row forward. Second row is now becoming a position like the back row, needing to be more athletic.

“Michael’s been playing really well for us and if our results had been a bit better at the start of the season he might have had a shot at making the England squad.

“He’s in a good place. When I come back it’ll take a bit of the pressure off him so he can play his natural game and leave me to do the mundane stuff while he gets the ball in his hands a bit more.”

Next up for Sale is a trip to Harlequins on Friday night, as they look to build on an impressive 36-8 triumph over London Irish last weekend.

Hines, who arrived at the AJ Bell Stadium over the summer, will miss that contest but the 38-year-old is champing at the bit to get back to competitive action soon.

“It’s been a frustrating start to the season, personally for me because I haven’t been playing,” he added.

“But for the squad in general because we’ve got in good positions against several teams but let games slip away.

“We’ve rectified our set pieces and now it’s functioning well. We’re in a good place, could be a better one, but we’re not too far off.

“On Friday there’ll be a big emphasis to make sure our defence is as good as last weekend against London Irish.

“We didn’t get too challenged in defence then but away from home, against  a good attacking team like Harlequins, you want to make sure you defence is rock solid first then build on that.”

This Christmas, Premiership Rugby is offering fans a special gift with selected tickets for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final 2015. Click here to find out about this limited offer.

Latest News

England squad to Argentina confirmed

Eddie Jones has confirmed his squad ahead of England’s two-Test series against Argentina next month. The squad has assembled today…

James Haskell: Exeter Chiefs were better than Wasps

Wasps back row James Haskell admits his side made too many mistakes to claim the Aviva Premiership Rugby title on…

Aviva Premiership Rugby Final: The best of the reaction to Exeter Chiefs’ triumph

Gareth Steenson’s extra-time penalty sent Exeter Chiefs fans into ecstasy at Twickenham on Saturday, as the West Country outfit claimed…

Match Reaction: Wasps 20 Exeter Chiefs 23 (AET)

Years of hard-work have paid off for Exeter Chiefs according to head coach Rob Baxter, after the Devon side lifted…

AUDIO: Yeandle, Haskell and Townsend reflect on the Aviva Premiership final

Russell Hargreaves looks back on a dramatic and extended Aviva Premiership final at Twickenham, before speaking to victorious Exeter Chiefs…

Match Report: Wasps 20 Exeter Chiefs 23 (AET)

Seven years after kicking Exeter Chiefs into Aviva Premiership Rugby, skipper Gareth Steenson proved once again that ice runs through…

HITZ learning academy gear up for the Aviva Premiership Rugby final

Around 30 young people from across the country will be at this afternoon’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham to…

Aviva Premiership Rugby Final: Review of the finalists’ most recent head-to-heads

Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final sees table-toppers Wasps face off against second-placed Exeter Chiefs, in what promises to be a…

Six things to look out for in this Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final

After nearly nine months of intense competition, the fate of the Aviva Premiership Rugby trophy comes down to 80 minutes…

Match Reaction: Northampton Saints 23 Stade Francais 22

Courtney Lawes revealed that he overcame illness to put in another man-of-the-match performance in Northampton Saints’ European Rugby Champions Cup…

Match Report: Northampton Saints 23 Stade Francais 22

Northampton Saints pulled off a stunning comeback victory to upset Stade Francais and secure European Champions Cup rugby for next…

Thomas Waldrom out to finish the job with Exeter Chiefs

Thomas Waldrom is ready to put the seal on a season of hard graft by helping Exeter Chiefs to lift…

Thomas Waldrom

Key moments of the season for our Aviva Premiership Rugby finalists

After two frantically-contested semi-finals, excitement is building for what will surely be a thrilling Aviva Premiership Rugby Final between Wasps…

Exeter Chiefs side to face Wasps in the Aviva Premiership Final

It was seven years today that Exeter Chiefs finally arrived at English rugby’s top table. On a wet and wild…

Olly Woodburn

Wasps team to play Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership Final

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his Wasps’ side for the Aviva Premiership Final against Exeter Chiefs, at Twickenham…

Josh Bassett and Willie Le Roux

Sean Maitland signs contract extension with Saracens

Saracens are delighted to announce that Scotland international Sean Maitland has signed a contract extension with the Club. Capped 28…

Sean Maitland

Ashley Johnson ready for daunting Twickenham final challenge

Wasps might have finished the Aviva Premiership Rugby season top of the table but hooker Ashley Johnson believes they will…