Wasps confirm Shaw release
November 15, 2011
Shaw has joined Toulon as an 'injury joker' © Getty Images
London Wasps have confirmed they have released Simon Shaw after he was officially unveiled as a Toulon player on Monday.
The 38-year-old veteran lock made 339 appearances for the Adams Park side and enjoyed huge success taking four Premiership titles and two Heineken Cups in the process. But following the World Cup, Shaw looked set to return to Wasps but instead asked to be released from his contract and subsequently signed for Top 14 big-spenders Toulon as an 'injury joker.'
Wasps CEO Chris Thomas confirmed that he had agreed to the British & Irish Lions Test player's request and wished him good luck for his time at Toulon. "We agreed to Simon's request to be released from the remainder of his contract so that he could fulfill his ambition of playing overseas," Thomas said. "He left with our best wishes and our thanks for his outstanding service to the club over nearly 15 years.
"He played a significant role in an era of success at London Wasps and though we are disappointed to see Simon depart, he leaves a strong legacy here."
And Shaw admits while it was a tough decision to turn his back on Wasps, the opportunity presented by Toulon was too good to turn down. Shaw said: "This has been a very difficult decision to make, but after I returned from the World Cup and had the chance to sit down with my family and discuss the future, the chance to experience another rugby challenge in a new country was something that really appealed to me.
"London Wasps is an exceptional rugby club and I would like to give my personal thanks to each and every supporter who has backed me over the years. I take with me some amazing memories, and hope I have the chance of a proper farewell to the fans at some point in the future.
"Toulon is one of the most exciting rugby environments in Europe and having met with Bernard [Laporte - head coach] and Mourad [Boudjellal - club president] I was extremely motivated to come here."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"Wayne Barnes' decision to give Dylan Hartley his marching orders was brave but crucially it was the correct call." Graham Jenkins reports from the Premiership final
"We wanted to get the rugby spirit across to people, I firmly believe we have been in the thick of it." Tom Hamilton speaks to the ESPN crew on the final live broadcast
With the Lions' tour to Australia fast-approaching, ESPN's Austin Healey and Mark Durden-Smith sat down to share their memories of the 2001 trip Down Under
"The fans could not be happier with the opposition and it adds an exciting element to a game that is shaping up as a thriller." Ben Kay previews the Premiership final showdown