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Page last updated at 16:36 GMT, Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Shaw boost for injury-hit England

Simon Shaw
Shaw had a superb summer tour with the Lions

Injury-hit England have been boosted by the news that Simon Shaw could be fit to face Argentina on 14 November in the second of the autumn internationals.

The Wasps second row, 36, returned to training this week after a foot injury and hopes to face Leeds on Sunday and London Irish the week after.

"England will be looking at him," said Wasps coach Tony Hanks.

"With most players you'd say two games wouldn't be enough, but Simon Shaw is not a normal player."

England boss Martin Johnson has lost nearly 20 players because of injury for the three November Tests, against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand.


Johnson called up uncapped locks Richard Blaze and Courtney Lawes on Monday when he revamped his squad but Hanks says England will be delighted to see Shaw back in action.

The 6ft 8in lock was one of the stand-out performers on the British and Irish Lions of South Africa but has not played since the third Test on 4 July.

"You're only as good as your last game, so he's in a nice spot at the moment," said Hanks.

"That was a while back, though, and Simon himself feels he needs to get some rugby under his belt. Seeing him back in an England jersey would be great.

"If he comes through the next two weeks feeling like he's ready, then you put him in because he'll be ready."

A tabloid newspaper recently reported that two Wasps players, Danny Cipriani and Tom Varndell, had been blacklisted by Johnson because of character flaws, but Hanks denied this was the case.

Paul Sackey has been playing good rugby and must have been close

Hanks on Sackey's England omission

"The feedback I've had from England is that they were impressed with Tom. They thought he started the season well," Hanks said of Varndell, who is Wasps' leading tryscorer so far this season.

Cipriani is currently out of action with a broken leg but Hanks said: "Everything Danny's done has been positive, too. He's someone they could have considered at full-back or fly-half.

"In the conversations I've had with England, there was no talk of a blacklist."

Hanks did admit he was surprised Wasps were not better represented in the England squad.

"Our second row has been going pretty well and we're disappointed they haven't been recognised higher up," he said.

"George Skivington and Richard Birkett have done a great job and are at the top in terms of stats. They have played a key role. They must have been close.

"Paul Sackey has been playing good rugby and must have been close - his all-round game has been excellent - while Tom Varndell has played well."

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see also
Shaw questions gym-based approach
21 Oct 09 |  English
Shaw eyes swift return to action
08 Oct 09 |  English
England release trio for weekend
28 Oct 09 |  Rugby Union
Injury-hit England make changes
26 Oct 09 |  Rugby Union
Waldouck ruled out for four weeks
27 Oct 09 |  London Wasps
Vickery joins England casualties
20 Oct 09 |  English
Sheridan faces Six Nations race
19 Oct 09 |  English
Cipriani & Rees blow for England
09 Oct 09 |  English
England hit by Turner-Hall injury
24 Sep 09 |  English
Armitage to miss November Tests
15 Sep 09 |  English
Wilkinson returns to England fold
07 Jul 09 |  English

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