Matt Garvey is a 24-year-old London Irish player. He covers the second-row forward position and the cap for Saturday’s England Saxons rugby team has surprised him. He mentions that he wasn’t even drafted for his own county to find himself now debuting for England’s second national rugby team.
The Saxons clash with Ireland Wolfhounds, the second Irish national team, at Exter this Saturday. Garvey’s excellent appearances for London Irish recommended him for the Saxons team.
Garvey’s rugby story is not ordinary. He started practicing this sport very late at the age of 17. Until then he was attracted by football. Garvey has since progressed rapidly and he is now seen a as a potential club captain.
Matt was London Irish’s top tackler last season and one other strong point is his ball-carrying possibilities. Matt admits that he will be supported by his entire family on Saturday. He also encourages Brits to support Andy Murray for his first Grand Slam title. Andy will play on Sunday the2012 Australian Open Final if he’ll manage to defeat Novak Djokovic today.
Steven Shingler lined up for London Irish against Cardiff in the Heineken Cup this weekend after a frustrating week as his international eligibility has been the hot topic in Rugby all week.
Shingler has been the centre of the row between Wales and Scotland over who he has the right to play for.
Shingler represented Wales at youth level but has since stated his desire to play for Scotland, who also want to have the opportunity to select the London Irish youngster. His coach at Irish, Toby Booth last week, in the build up to the Cardiff Blues encounter, told of how the whole affair had negatively affected Shingler.
Shingler’s agent is said to be consulting a lawyer to look into the legal possibilities open to the player to take to ensure he can play for Scotland in the future.
Booth describes this as “a massive distraction” to the player and the whole week’s affair is said to have taken a lot out of him. He was however selected for the game against Cardiff, due wholly to Booth’s belief the game was a “must win encounter.”
As it was Irish lost the game and are now out of the Heineken Cup. Ironically for Shingler on the opposing team was Ben Morgan. Morgan is qualified to play for Wales and has represented them at youth level, yet is committed to and is legally able to play for England.
He himself is using Cardiff’s Heineken Cup campaign as a chance to make a name for himself and try to force himself into Stuart Lancaster, and any successor’s plans. He is in England’s 32 man elite squad and believed an impressive performance against the Saints would improve his chances of gaining a cap.
Shingler will hope his case will be settled sooner or later, as will Toby Booth and all involved with London Irish. The affair is not a simple one though and could rumble on for some time, with various bodies to go through and various appeals to consider on both sides.
London Irish’s inconsistent season took another twist with their heaviest defeat in the league since May 2006. The Exiles went down by 30 points to 3 against an off form Bath team. Irish now sit sixth in the league but have again dropped points in a game they would have expected to at least pick up a losing bonus point.
Irish were outclassed all over the pitch, with Bath particularly dominating in the forwards. It took 16 minutes for the deadlock to be broken, but once it was, through a converted Stephen Donald try, Bath never looked back and the Irish were never in contention.
Tom Homer added a solitary penalty for Irish on half an hour, but numerous errors from the Exiles let Bath in on a number of occasions. This was summed up when just after half time Adrian Jarvis’ loose chip was easily collected by former England full back, Abendanon who linked up with Tom Biggs to wrap the game up for Bath. Abendanon is one of the favourites to be the Player of the Tournament on the Betfair Six Nations Betting markets
England star, Delon Armitage, who has previous with Bath was sin binned in the 70th minute for a late tackle, which cost Irish further, when a penalty try was awarded to Bath the add insult to injury. The 27 point defeat was a delight to Bath coach Ian McGeechan, whose Bath team were impressive. The big story though could be Irish’s poor display and with tough games against Sale and Harlequins their next two league encounters it could be the start of a difficult run for the Exiles.
This was not only their heaviest defeat for five and a half years, but was up their as one of the worst performances in that time. They will have to improve on this display if they want to be in contention for a return to the Betfair Heineken Cup 2012 next year. Consistency has been missing for the Exiles this year and it is something they must find soon.