Demoted Dawson given chance to prove fitness

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A couple of England's Lions who want to get their claws into the Wallabies next weekend, have a chance to prove their fitness in the latest round of Heineken Cup matches.

Northampton's Matt Dawson, who lost the England captaincy when the squad to play Australia at Twickenham on 10 November was announced on Wednesday, has recovered from a hamstring injury and is expected to play at Montferrand.

His international colleague Phil Vickery, the Gloucester prop who injured a knee last month, is another who is likely to return to action, in his case in the Parker Pen Shield match at Caerphilly and if he comes through he could put Julian White under pressure for the tight-head spot.

Simon Shaw, who was axed from Clive Woodward's squad, gets a start for Wasps in the Heineken Cup tie against Treviso, but his club-mate Phil Greening will find himself on the bench in Italy. The England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson will captain his side against Toulouse.

Meanwhile amid all the hype surrounding the arrival of Iestyn Harris at Cardiff comes the news that Caerphilly want to sign Cardiff's record-breaking Wales fly-half Neil Jenkins.