Lock Shaw is ruled out of England's Six Nations opener

Last updated at 13:46 20 January 2008

England will monitor the fitness of Simon Shaw this week after the Wasps lock

suffered an ankle injury that threatens his participation in the RBS 6 Nations.

Shaw sustained the damage during yesterday's 19-3 Heineken Cup defeat by

Munster, falling awkwardly while making a tackle at a line-out early in the

second half.


He was stretchered from the pitch in considerable discomfort and taken to

hospital where an X-ray revealed he had incurred soft tissue damage rather than

a break.

Wasps are reluctant to set a date for his return and the 34-year-old will

almost certainly miss the start of the Six Nations.

A club statement said: "Shaw will undergo review and treatment on his injury

throughout this week.

"Further updates as to the extent of his injury will be issued by Wasps later

this week."

Wasps initially feared the worst when Shaw went down beneath a pile of bodies

and he required treatment on the pitch for five minutes before being carried


But subsequent scan results delivered encouraging news on the severity of the


A spokesperson added: "Obviously it is good news there was no break to the

ankle but he's still in discomfort and will be out for several weeks."

England open their Six Nations campaign against Wales on February 2 before

travelling to Italy a week later and it is unlikely Shaw will feature in either


His involvement later in the competition hinges on the extent of the tissue

damage and how well he responds to treatment.

It is a cruel blow for the powerful Lions forward who was an automatic

selection at second row alongside Ben Kay after finally nailing down a regular

spot in the England team.

Previous England coaches were not always convinced by Shaw, accounting for his

relatively low total of 43 caps during a Test career that began in 1996.

But his power, presence and work-rate have been deemed essential by current

boss Brian Ashton, who will now be weighing up the alternatives.

Bath's Steve Borthwick will be in pole position to replace Shaw when he reports

for tomorrow's one-day England training session with Louis Deacon set to plug

the gap on the bench.