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)
Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea top the list of the Premier League's most expensive squads
Mario Balotelli scored as many goals for AC Milan on second debut as he did for Liverpool in the Premier League last season
Cyprus vs Wales match report: Gareth Bale's bullet header has Welsh on brink of Euro 2016
Jose Mourinho: Chelsea manager has four Guinness World records hanging in his office
Sir Alex Ferguson: 'I place discipline above all else and it might have cost us several titles...' but Manchester United boss wouldn't change it
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 2 President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 4 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 5 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees