|Weight||122kg (19st 2lb)|
Being the twenty first England player to reach 60 caps in the memorable Australia match at Twickenham last November followed a less predictable but ecstatic honour for Simon Shaw MBE. He became the most senior player to make his debut in the history of the British & Irish Lions when appearing twice against South Africa two summers ago.
No-one had waited so long for a Test place. When donning the Lions’ jersey for the 18th time on his third tour, Simon was there at last and the reward was fitting. He then missed the first two matches in the 2009 Investec Challenge Series because of a foot injury sustained in the third Lions’ Test but has since figured in another 19 international games to join the elite of fourteen England players with 70 or more caps.
A member of England’s 2003 RWC winning squad, he has multiple milestones in a career stretching back to his senior debut at the age of 17 for Bristol Rugby against London Wasps, the club he joined in 1997 and for which he had made 339 appearances before departing the club in the summer of 2011.
Simon is currently unattached but, when becoming the oldest player to represent England in the RWC at 37 years and 17 days on September 18 2011, it was highly appropriate that he was handed the temporary captaincy of his country against Georgia when Lewis Moody left the field after 57 minutes. The previous most senior England player at any RWC was Paul Rendall at 37 years, 232 days.
At the end of the previous season, he had played in 237 Premiership matches, one fewer than Saracens’ Hugh Vyvyan, the competition’s record holder. His graduation to full England recognition 15 years ago came through a series of seven national representative teams and he went on to partner Ben Kay at lock in six of the seven games in the 2007 RWC.
Both his Test tries were in the same match against Canada in Vancouver ten years ago and he was the Guinness Premiership Player of the Year in 2003-04.
Immense strength, grappling work around the fringes and an insatiable appetite for driving mauls are among the strengths of the ‘Gentle Giant’, who overcame injury adversity in his formative years after becoming England’s biggest schoolboy international on his debut against Ireland at Thomond Park in 1991.
A double dislocation and fracture of his left ankle later threatened his career. Born in Nairobi but initially brought up in Spain, he attended King’s College and Runnymede College, both in Madrid, before going on to Godalming Sixth Form College and the University of West of England, Bristol. While at Godalming, Simon played for Cranleigh RFC juniors with subsequent appearances for the club’s first team in 1990-91 prefacing his climb to the highest level.
10 points – 2T
England: 1996 It, Arg 1997 S, I, F, W, A, SA(R) 2000 I, F, W, It, S, SA(1R, 2R) 2001 C(1R, 2), USA, I 2003 It(R), W, F(R), F(R) 2004 It(R), S(R), NZ(1,2), A 2005 Sam(R) 2006 W(R), It(R), S(R), F(R), I 2007 W, F, F World Cup - USA, SA, Sam, A, F, SA 2008 W, It, F, S, I, A(R), SA(R) 2009 F, S, NZ 2010 W, It, I, F, A(1,2R), A(R), SA(R) 2011 W(R), It(R), F(R), S(R), I (R), W, I(R) World Cup - G, R (R), F(R)
Lions: 2009 SA (2,3)
Last updated: October 10, 2011