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Rugby union: WE'RE REAL SCOTS THROUGH AND ROO; Adopted Aussies want crack at homeland.

Byline: NEIL McLEMAN

SCOTLAND'S Kilted Kangaroos returned Down Under yesterday and immediately set their sights on a quarter-final clash with Australia at the Rugby World Cup.

Ian McGeechan's side arrived in Brisbane and will set up a training camp in the Sunshine Coast town of Caloundra before their opening encounter with Japan on October 12.

The Scots will also face the USA, France and Fiji in Group B with the runners-up likely to face a quarterfinal clash with Australia.

It is a prospect the Aussie-born squad members Andrew Mower, Nathan Hines, Robbie Russell and Ben Hinshelwood are relishing.

Hines said: ``It's like having divorced parents you love each country but you live with one sometimes and the other the other times.

``We'd obviously like to win our group but it's not going to be easy and we'll have to take each game as it comes. If we play Australia, that would be good.''

Sydney-born Mower, who was once a member of the local lifeguard club which featured in Home and Away, agreed. He said: ``I'd love to play against Australia. I was joking about it with my mother and she said she hopes I play well but she will still support Australia. I think she was kidding I hope she was.''

Hines, Mower, and Russell all qualified to play for Scotland through their grandfathers, while Hinshelwood is the son of former Scotland winger Sandy Hinshelwood.

But dreams of a quarter-final place were immediately put on hold by cautious captain Bryan Redpath.

The scrum-half, who will retire from international rugby after the World Cup, said: ``You want to have big targets and ambitions you want to strive to get to. But first of all we need to concentrate on our group.

``We need to make sure we can perform well against Japan and America and go into the French game with some kind of performance under our belt.''

McGeechan agreed momentum had to be established early in the campaign.

He said: ``This is the fourth World Cup I've been involved in and it's important you get momentum in the pool stages, starting from your first game.

``In 1991, we actually lost two games before the tournament started (to Romania and Edinburgh Borderers) but we got things right from the first game and built from there.''

The players, who were greeted at Sydney Airport by two pipers from the Scots College, arrived in Caloundra at lunchtime after a 32 hour journey from Edinburgh.

Training for the players yesterday was limited to light work in the swimming pool and on exercise bikes.

Because of family reasons, Saracens lock Simon Raiwalui has turned down an SOS from Fiji to come out of retirement for the World Cup following an injury to Ifereimi Rawaqa.

Six of the 20 competing nations have been weakened because players have declared themselves unavailable for selection.

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OZ-SOME: Hinshelwood hopes for Aussie clash
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 1, 2003
Words:484
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