Shawe gets Leinster tight call
SIMON SHAWE faces a thorough test of his propping credentials when he packs down against experienced Argentinian Marcos Ayerza this evening as Leinster face Leicester Tigers in their final pre-season friendly at Welford Road (7.30).
Shawe was called into the Leinster set-up this week as coach Joe Schmidt found himself short on tight-head cover after Stan Wright was ruled out of action for six months and Mike Ross was unavailable for tonight's clash with a hamstring strain.
The 30-year-old Ballymena prop, who has represented Ulster at various levels as well as the Ireland club team, has an opportunity to show that he can do a job for Leinster when the season gets under way with the trip to Glasgow next week and Ayerza, who has just agreed a new contract with the Tigers, will provide a stern examination.
It is also another opportunity for Ireland internationals Luke Fitzgerald and team captain Sean O'Brien to reaffirm their return to form and fitness following their injury woes, while Nathan Hines and Devin Toner will look for big games in the second row with Leo Cullen on the long-term casualty list.
It is a powerful Leicester selection, featuring a host of internationals such as Ireland's Geordan Murphy, Italian powerhouse prop Martin Castrogiovanni and England internationals Toby Flood, Ben Youngs and George Chuter.
LEICESTER -- G Murphy; S Hamilton, M Smith, A Allen, A Tuilagi; T Flood, B Youngs; M Ayerza, G Chuter, M Castrogiovanni; C Green, G Skivington; C Newby, B Woods, T Waldrom. Reps: TBA.
LEINSTER -- L Fitzgerald; D Kearney, E O'Malley, F McFadden, N Morris; I McKinley, I Boss; H van der Merwe, R Strauss, S Shawe; N Hines, D Toner; D Ryan, S O'Brien (capt), S Keogh. Reps: J Harris-Wright, J McGrath, S Maguire, E O'Donoghue, P Ryan, P O'Donohoe, I Nacewa, M Keating, M Galarza, E Sheriff, I Madigan, E Sheridan.