NICK HAINING has had quite a few weeks.

Earlier this month, the Edinburgh Rugby flanker made his international debut, making it into Gregor Townsend’s starting fifteen for his first cap. And then a week later, he made his first international appearance at Murrayfield when he came on as a replacement against England.

The Australian-born back-row then came back to his club side last weekend and played all 80 minutes of the capital club’s win against Connacht. So there has, says Haining, been little time to catch his breath.

“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind last month,” he said.

“I’ve been enjoying it though.”

Haining may have been thrown into the deep end when it comes to international duty, but he has dealt with it all admirably, despite, as he admits himself, feeling more than a few nerves ahead of making his Scotland debut. The past month has been quite a learning curve but having so many of his Edinburgh teammates alongside him in the Scotland camp helped him settle in nicely.

“It was a big surprise to start in the Ireland game and I was quite nervous at the time,” he said.

“I’ve learned a lot since we’ve been (in the Scotland camp). It’s very accelerated learning - you have to go in and learn everything very quickly. But it’s helped with having all the Edinburgh boys around.”

“My two appearances were all right. There were obviously a few things to work on as well - being my first international caps, there’s always stuff to work on. But I was quite happy with the games, and moving forward I’ll hopefully get another shot.”

Haining will rejoin Gregor Townsend’s squad next week ahead of the France clash a week on Sunday but before that, he has the not insignificant matter of his club facing Cardiff at Murrayfield in the Pro14 tomorrow evening.

Edinburgh are in a fine run of form are currently sitting pretty at the top of their conference, three points clear of Munster.

Richard Cockerill’s men have already taken ten points from a possible ten during the Six Nations window, which is quite an achievement considering how many players are on international duty.

Another bonus point win tomorrow would see Edinburgh in an excellent position going into the two-week break in the league but Haining is well aware of the threat posed by Cardiff and so is not looking too far ahead.

“I think it’s a testament to everyone in the squad and the depth that we do have to have got those results so far,” he said.

“It wasn’t an easy game at Scarlets but we ground out the win, then we had a good performance against Connacht last weekend.

“We’re confident going into Cardiff and we think we can really take max points from that and not give them anything. They’ll be a good side - they’ve got a depth in their squad, they’re a good team, they’ve got good players but we’re in good form at the moment and we’re confident.”

Much of Edinburgh’s good form has been down to the strength-in-depth of the squad that Cockerill has developed. Haining is part of an extremely strong back line and is competing with Fiji internationalist Bill Mata for a starting berth but rather than curse the competition, Haining relishes the challenge.

“I think we both bring different stuff to the table and that sort of balances out in the team as well when we’re playing together,” he said of Mata.

“And then when you’ve got someone like Luke Crosbie in the back row as well putting the shift in that he did (last weekend), it balances everything out. I feel like I play to my strengths and they’ll play to theirs and that helps the team.”

Haining may only have been at Edinburgh less than a year but he has formed a bond with the club and the city already. And while nothing is certain in the world of professional rugby, Haining is clear that he would be happy to be at the club for the long-term.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time here so far - it’s been a great year,”he said.

“With everything that’s happened with myself, I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m 29 now, so I don’t know (what will happen), we’ll have to see, but yeah, I would like to see out my career here if I could.”