Booth hopes to clear Shingler for Scotland
London Irish 15 Cardiff Blues 22
The Madejski Stadium
Monday 16 January 2012
Toby Booth, the director of rugby for London Irish, has appealed for a common-sense solution in the dispute between Wales and Scotland for the services of Steven Shingler. In particular, Booth wants to know where the player stands before he takes London Irish to Scotland for next Sunday's final pool game in the Heineken Cup.
A place in the last eight of Europe's premier competition is beyond the Irish after Saturday's pool-two loss at the Madejski Stadium but Shingler's situation remains open for debate. The fly half, 20, who joined the Irish from the Ospreys last summer, is wanted for Scotland's Six Nations squad but is ruled out because he played for Wales Under-20s while with Ospreys.
"We recruited a player we thought was qualified for England, Scotland and Wales," Booth said. "If that changes, there could be a few repercussions. But why are we trying to stop people reaching their full potential? If Wales don't want him to play for them, and Scotland do, and he wants to play international rugby, then common sense must prevail.
"The International Rugby Board will decide but we will support our player. We try to make our players the best they can be and the pinnacle for every player is to play international rugby. This is not about Steve choosing Wales over Scotland or vice versa, this is about him trying to be an international and that's all it's about, playing at the highest level he can. One country has shown an interest, the other hasn't."
Shingler played only eight minutes against Cardiff as a replacement for Shontayne Hape, with Booth admitting the eligibility debate had contributed towards his omission from the starting XV. "He's in contention to play [against Edinburgh] next weekend but we'll have to see," Booth, shorn of a third of his squad through injuries, said.
Meanwhile Cardiff, neck and neck with Edinburgh, at the top of the pool, know that a home win over Racing Metro will be enough to reach the last eight for only the third time in the last 11 years, though they seem sure to remain without the injured Wales centre, Jamie Roberts. Leigh Halfpenny's 17 points against the Irish included the conversion of Sam Warburton's try which owed everything to Casey Laulala's break, the only occasion when the Irish defence disappointed.
London Irish: Penalties Jarvis 4, Armitage.
Cardiff Blues: Try Warburton; Conversion Halfpenny; Penalties Halfpenny 5.
London Irish: D Armitage; T Ojo, J Spratt, S Hape (S Shingler, 72), A Thompstone (T Homer, 72); A Jarvis, D Allinson; C Dermody (captain; A Corbisiero, 58), D Paice (J Buckland, 36), F Rautenbach (P Ion, 50), N Kennedy (R Casey, 76), M Garvey, B Evans, D Sisi, A Gray.
Cardiff Blues: L Halfpenny; A Cuthbert, C Laulala, G Henson, C Czekaj (R Mustoe, 58); D Parks, L Williams (R Rees, 58); G Jenkins, T Thomas (R Tyrell, 63), T Filise (S Andrews, 50), B Davies, P Tito (captain; M Molitika, 72), M Paterson, S Warburton, X Rush.
Referee: N Paterson (Scotland)
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
voicesJust when you thought you could find a man, get married, and have a baby by the age of 35... it turns out you’re too late, says Grace Dent
sportNapoli 2 Arsenal 0: Gunners must now face either Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid or Barcelona in knock-out stages
musicAs Mariah Carey and Noddy Holder rake in the royalties from their classics, why there hasn't been a decent festive hit for 20 years?
theatreAuthor Daniel Rosenthal recalls the mishaps that almost brought the curtain down on the likes of John Gielgud and Diana Rigg
filmFilm producers sue Warner Bros for $75m over Hobbit films
lifeAs the Royal Mail plans to phase out deliveries on two wheels, it's no wonder posties are in a spin
musicThe 21-year-old beat Ella Eyre and Chlöe Howl to win the honour
lifeFull of the joys and want to help your fellow man? December isn't the time to do it
techLuke Blackall reports on precision engineered prams and babygros that monitor your child 24-7
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute
- 2 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 3 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 4 Exeter to Edinburgh and back in a day: How one fresher's lost bet left him facing a 900-mile round trip
- 5 Selfie at funeral: Cameron squeezes in on Obama snap at Mandela memorial