Winger Danielli targets autumn starts after injury

Winger Simon Danielli is determined to recover full fitness and stake his claim for a starting place in Scotland's autumn Tests.

Danielli was a marginal figure at the Scottish rugby team's training camp in St Andrews this week, with a recent shoulder operation restricting him to light running. But the 30-year-old was still in a buoyant frame of mind as he looked ahead to the new season.

He is not due back in action until October, meaning he faces a race against time to prove his readiness for November's mouth-watering showdowns against New Zealand, South Africa and Samoa.

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But Danielli has experienced enough highs and lows during his seven-year international career to be able to put his circumstances into context.

"Injuries happen and as long as they are not self inflicted - for example, through a lack of preparation or from doing something stupid - then there is no point beating myself up about it," he said.

"It's just rugby. I've had my fair share, but if I compare what I have suffered to what some other players have gone through then I am in no doubt that I've been very lucky."

Rather than dwelling on his shoulder operation, Danielli was determined to focus instead on the positivity coursing through the squad at the moment.

"I've been out of the sling for a week and a half now, so I'm just trying to build up the range of motion before I can kick on with any strength work," he said.

"I don't want to push it too much but obviously I am desperate to get back as soon as possible, especially after being a part of that Test series win in Argentina and knowing that we've got some really exciting autumn Tests coming up. Things are looking rosy for Scotland at the moment, with three good away wins on the bounce, and we are in a fairly confident frame of mind going into these autumn matches. Everyone is obviously desperate to be involved.

"I haven't experienced a mood like this in the Scotland squad before during my time on the scene. There is an air of expectation there - not over-confidence but a firm belief in our ability, which is something you need when you are going up against the best teams in the world. It is buzzing just now."

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