|Weight||122kg (19st 2lb)|
|Caps||0 Test apearances|
News of Matt Garvey’s selection for the England Saxons squad in January this year came almost a year to the day since he was ruled out for the rest of last season following a neck operation. They were tough times because the surgery he underwent on his spine showed that he had aninfection as well as a prolapsed disc.
A London Irish Academy entrant in July 2009, hemade his senior debut against London Wasps in November of that year, having previously played for London Welsh. Statistically, he went on to become theIrish’s best defender last season with a tackle completion rate of 95%. He duly received the club’s defender of the campaign award last season.
His other high spots include a resolute HeinekenCup performance in the away match against Munster in 2010-11 when he competed against Paul O’Connell and Donnacha O’Callaghan and he has been likened to Simon Shaw by such a shrewd judge as Ben Kay, the former Leicester Tigers and England lock.
Kay said: “He will no doubt have learned a lot from players such as Bob Casey at the Irish. The good thing I can see about Matt is that he is a big, heavy lad and that obviously adds a lot of power, which is a valuable thing in the scrum. He is also a mobile player and quite a goodathlete which makes him an asset to the side.”
Matt’s ball-carrying and positive impact on matches has also won praise from Irish head coach Toby Boothand by the end of January this year Thurrock-born Matt had made 30 Premiership appearances and scored his maiden try in the competition against Leicester Tigers last November.