Leinster second row Nathan Hines has made it clear that he has no intention of bringing his illustrious career any time soon.
The 2009 British & Irish Lion turned 33 in November but he claims to be as physically fit as ever as he prepares for a crucial second-half of the season with both club and country.
Hines is expected to play a pivotal role in Scotland’s attempt to improve upon a poor run of finishes in recent Six Nations campaigns this month and next, before returning to aid Leinster’s defence of their Heineken Cup crown and their concerted push to regain the Magners League title they won the season before last.
It’s a heavy workload but one which Hines is fully prepared for.
"I’m not looking to stop playing," Hines told PA ahead of Scotland’s clash with France next Sunday.
"Physically and mentally, I’m feeling in better shape than I have probably in the last four or five years.”
Hines made the move from French Champions Perpignan to Leinster prior to the start of this season and has played a significant role in his first season back in Magners League rugby since his departure from Edinburgh in 2005.
And the Australian-born second row has no regrets whatsoever when reflecting on his decision to join the likes of fellow Lions Brian O’Driscoll, Luke Fitzgerald, Jamie Heaslip and Rob Kearney in Dublin.
In fact, Hines believes his summer transfer is one of the main reasons why he can see his career continuing way beyond the end of the current campaign.
"’The strength and conditioning guys at Leinster really pay attention to how you’re feeling and how your body is and adjust your training schedules accordingly,” added Hines.
"We played Ulster and I was really sore after the game on the Monday, so they pulled me from contact until the Thursday.
"That’s the kind of thing that wouldn’t happen in France."