Scotland player Gordon Simpson yesterday vowed to revive his international career after being expelled from the squad in the wake of a

drink-related incident.

Murrayfield officials revealed that the New Zealand-born back-row player was sent home from the team HQ before Saturday's encounter with world champions Australia. The Glasgow Caley Reds favourite was suspended for the match - and also for this

weekend's match with Samoa.

Neither the Scotland

management nor Simpson would elaborate on the details, but it is believed that he was punished for drowning his

sorrows after failing to make the starting squad for both the Australia and USA games.

Despite speculation and rumour to the contrary,

insiders insisted he was not involved in a violent incident in Edinburgh.

Pledging to put the

embarrassment behind him, Simpson - better known on the rugby scene as ''Badger'' - declared: ''I can't comment on the matter at all. It is internal and I'd rather keep it away from everyone. It's between myself and the management of the Scotland team.

''Scotland team secretary Gregor Nicolson rang me to tell me about the statement that the SRU were putting out and that was fine by me. I have no problem with what they said. It has happened, and that is the end of the story. I am just

trying to get back on track and do my best for Glasgow Caley - and for Scotland in the future.''

The Murrayfield statement read: ''As a result of an

internal disciplinary matter, Gordon Simpson was not

considered for the Scotland v Australia Test and will not be considered for the Scotland v Samoa Test. He is currently available for selection for

Glasgow Caledonians.''

Neither Scotland manager Dougie Morgan, currently with the squad at Peebles, nor SRU media chief Graham Law would make any additional comment.

Caley chief executive David Jordan insisted Simpson's standing with the Reds would not be affected by the

suspension. He said: ''As far as we are concerned, this was a matter between the player and the Scotland management.

''It happened outwith his activities as a Glasgow Caley player and therefore does not affect his position with us. He is now back in our fold and we are looking ahead to the resumption of the Celtic League a week on Saturday when we have a difficult match against Pontypridd.''

Jordan added: ''Gordon played for our Development side against the Scottish Under 21s on Monday night and his attitude was - and is - very positive.

''He has been told his future with Scotland is not in doubt and that, if he merits a place in future, he will be included in their plans.

''We are confident he will perform to the best of his

ability for us and we hope he returns to the Scotland set-up as soon as possible.''

Simpson, 29, burst onto the Scotland stage virtually out of the blue in 1998 when he was a controversial inclusion in the squad to tour Australia just months after moving to

Kirkcaldy from New Zealand, where he had starred for North Harbour and Wellington.

He made an instant

international debut against Australia in the First Test at Sydney, and has since picked up 10 further caps, scoring two tries in the process.

Simpson, who earned his nickname because of his ability to win the ball close to the ground, qualifies for Scotland through his maternal

grandfather, who was born in the Knightswood area of

Glasgow before emigrating to New Zealand.