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Rugby Union: DAN AND BLAST; SCOTLAND INJURY KO Test agony for Simon as knee trouble flares.

Byline: KEVIN BOYD Rugby Correspondent

SIMON Danielli must endure another frustrating wait to return to the Scotland set-up after undergoing knee surgery yesterday.

Danielli had hoped to make his international comeback against Australia at Murrayfield on Saturday despite being injured during his debut for Borders less than two weeks ago.

But now Danielli must sit out the entire autumn international series and await the Six Nations Championships in February.

The former Bath winger's big-time career had already stalled when he was forced out of the summer tour Down Under.

Scotland's preparations for the clash with the Wallabies was hampered further yesterday when lock Craig Hamilton and utility back Robbie Kydd were quarantined with a gastric bug.

And Lions prop Tom Smith returned to Northampton to have a knee injury examined which he sustained during the Saints' Heineken Cup success against Llanelli Scarlets at the weekend.

Club commitments had ruled out Hamilton, Kydd and Smith for the Aussie game but the trio were set to face Japan at McDiarmid Park the following Saturday.

Meanwhile, Australian-born Scotland hero Nathan Hines has sounded a "beware the wounded Wallabies" warning.

Hines believes they could be even more potent than they were during their reign as world champions.

He said: "A year ago they lost the World Cup to England and then they didn't win the Tri- Nations title - so they will be hurting like mad.

"They will be doubly determined to go back home with nothing but potent performances and victories under their belt.

"It is up to us to get our game into gear right away and throw a instant spanner in the works."

Hines insisted that despite his background, facing the Australians was no more a thrill for him than playing any other Test opponents.

He said: "The bottom line is that they are just another bunch of jerseys you are tackling. I get the ultimate buzz wearing the dark blue of Scotland - no matter who we are playing."

Hines added: "I am aware there might be a tendency to put the Tri-Nations teams on a pedestal - but that is purely a mental thing.

"Sure, the Wallabies are talented - but so are the guys over here and it is important to remember that they can be beaten if the attitude is right and tactically everything falls into place."

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FRUSTRATED: Danielli faces long wait; HINES: Warning
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 3, 2004
Words:395
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