Burns fears bad news over new knee injury

EDINBURGH and Scotland scrum-half Graeme Burns is facing an anxious 48 hours after suffering what looks to be another serious knee injury.

The 30-year-old was stretchered from the field just a minute into his side’s first league match of the season, against Swansea at Meadowbank on Friday night. Edinburgh officials initially played down the injury, believing it to be nothing serious, but after he endured an uncomfortable weekend there are now fears it could prove to be serious ligament damage.

The injury is to the same knee he had damaged in 1996, when a tackle from Welshman Colin Charvis during a sevens tie in Dubai took him crashing into a cameraman, rupturing Burns’ ligaments and forcing him into a lengthy period on the sidelines. He recovered to captain Scotland at the 1997 Rugby World Cup Sevens.

If this latest injury does prove serious, the timing could hardly be worse with the recently-married Burns this season aiming to put himself into World Cup contention by outplaying Mike Blair at Edinburgh and Glasgow rivals Graeme Beveridge and Andy Nicol.

The Australian Rugby Union expressed its sympathy yesterday following the death of a player in a country grand final in the state of New South Wales on Saturday.

Kullen Beathe, a centre with Kempsey Rugby Club, died after a tackle in a grand final.

ARU managing director John O’Neill said: “To Kullen’s family and club mates, our sympathy and prayers are with you.”

Another player, Alan McCabe, suffered a serious spinal injury during a separate grand final on Saturday and had to be airlifted to Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital.

Canada beat Chile 29-11 in Santiago on Saturday to secure their place in next year’s Rugby World Cup in Australia, as the first of two qualifiers from the Americas.

Chile will play Uruguay in Montevideo next weekend to decide the second Americas qualifier after Uruguay, World Cup finalists in 1999, defeated the United States 10-9 on Saturday.