Tagicakibau ready to answer London Irish callBy Alan Manicom
November 02, 2011
Sailosi Tagicakibau is ready to make his first appearance of the season for London Irish on Saturday in their tough Aviva Premiership match at Leicester Tigers.
The Samoan winger has been kept under wraps since returning from last month’s World Cup where he picked up a minor leg injury.
Tagicakibau was not considered to be match fit for Exiles’ 23-man squad last weekend, but after a week’s training at the club he is now set to be called up for one of the club’s hardest fixtures of the season.
Head coach Toby Booth said: “We just did not know where he was. Like all of the players who came back from the World Cup, you have no idea.
“We had to assess what his fitness level was.
“Losi picked up a knock in the World Cup and has not played for a while. We just needed to be a bit careful with him.”
Tagicakibau’s return will be a major boost to the Irish back line which will be deprived of influential young centre Jonathan Joseph, who suffered a shoulder injury in last Saturday’s frustrating 13-12 defeat at home to Bath.
With Scotland international centre Joe Ansbro a week or two away from making his comeback from a rib injury, Exiles will welcome the injection of a genuine world-class talent to the side.
Meanwhile, Joseph’s starting place on Saturday could be taken by Steve Shingler.
The versatile Welshman gave a steady display when he filled in at outside centre for more than an hour against Bath.
Shingler’s fellow countryman Ed Siggery is also pressing for a place in the 23-man squad, while prop Clarke Dermody (calf) and Matt Garvey (shoulder) could make their returns from injury.
Definitely still out, though, are Bob Casey, Alex Gray, Paul Hodgson, Kieran Roche, Marland Yarde and Kieran Low.
Meanwhile Booth has dismissed reports that Irish are looking to sign France captain Thierry Dusautoir and Italy captain Sergio Parisse.
He said: “I’d love too, but there is no truth in that I’m afraid.”
And he revealed the prospect of taking any home matches abroad is a long way off, adding: “We were talking about expanding the game, but there are no concrete plans.”