Scotland may appeal after IRB rules that Shingler is a Welshman

As if Scotland, who have lost all three of their Six Nations games, did not have enough on their plate ahead of tomorrow's visit to Dublin, the Inter-national Rugby Board served up more misery yesterday by ruling against the London Irish midfielder Steve Shingler's bid to play for them.

Shingler was named in the Scottish squad for the tournament, only to run foul of eligibility regulations. It now appears he is either a Welshman or he is nothing.

Born in Swansea to a Scottish mother, Shingler played for Wales in an Under-20 match against France last year. While appearances in age-group fixtures do not usually prevent players switching allegiance at senior level, there are exceptions – and this, an IRB panel decided, was one of them.

"The panel accepted the evidence of the Welsh Rugby Union that although Shingler had not signed the union eligibility confirmation form, he had been fully informed that playing in the match would capture him for Wales," a spokesman for the governing body said.

The Scots pledged support for Shingler, and an appeal may be lodged once Murrayfield officials have considered the IRB's full written decision. Ironically, Wales and Scotland were the countries most implicated in the so-called Grannygate scandal in the late 1990s.

Ireland suffered a more prosaic blow when Sean O'Brien, the Leinster flanker, withdrew from the Scotland game after failing to recover from a skin infection. Peter O'Mahony of Munster will start in the back row, with Shane Jennings filling the gap on the bench.

Wales, hot favourites to give themselves a Grand Slam shot by beating Italy in Cardiff tomorrow, are confident that public expectation no longer preys on the minds of their players. "We're pretty grounded," said the Scarlets centre Jonathan Davies. "We all know there is a lot of expectation, but I think we can handle it.

"The main thing against Italy will be patience. People looking at the back line we'll have on the field might expect things to happen instantly, but we will need to build rather than force the issue. We want to keep the ball in play, maintain a high tempo, work the Italians and hope it bears fruit in the last 20 minutes or so."

Leicester, who play an LV Cup semi-final at Bath tonight, have passed up the chance to give the England fly-half Toby Flood a run. This week, the Tigers made it very clear that they felt Flood should have been picked to face France on Sunday. By leaving their best fly-half out for this game they have made the point again, even more forcefully.

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before