I was sitting on a toilet when an earthquake hit. We’d gone on holiday after the World Cup in New Zealand and on the first day my wife, Jane, and I went to the supermarket – the only four-storey building in Bali! – to get essentials like nappies. I went to the loo and that’s when the earthquake struck. The mirrors smashed and the toilet came out of the wall and the floor. Then I had the ultimate dilemma: get myself together when there’s a chance I could die or run out into the middle of the supermarket with my trousers around my ankles!I decided to take my time and when I found my wife hiding under a clotheshorse we ran out of the building. I persuaded a taxi driver to take us back to the hotel to see if the kids were okay. He was listening to pop music so I got him to put on the news so we could find out what was going on. Bizarrely there were still roofers on houses putting down tiles! The quake measured 6.8 on the Richter scale, but luckily the kids were fine.My best rugby moment came with Wasps, not England. For me the game is about playing with mates and achieving something with guys who you play with week in, week out. So after the years I had at Wasps, the 2004 Heineken Cup victory against Toulouse stands out as the best.Mark Regan was very nervous about meeting the Queen. We went to the Palace after winning the 2003 World Cup. He was okay meeting the Queen, then we went into a big hall where there were lots of dignitaries and a big buffet. A footman, in all his regalia, approached myself and Ronnie and said, “Earl Grey?” Ronnie replied, “Mark Regan, pleased to meet you.” Any moments with Ronnie are memorable!DID YOU KNOW?Shaw is the oldest player to represent England at a Rugby World Cup. He was aged 38 years, nine days when RWC 2011 kicked offThis article appeared in the April 2012 issue of Rugby World Magazine.Find a newsagent that sells Rugby World in the UK. Or you may prefer the digital edition on your MAC, PC, or iPad. 17 Sep 2000: Simon Shaw of Wasps in action during the Zurich Premiership match against Gloucester at Loftus Road, in London. Wasps won the match 43-23. Mandatory Credit: Dave Rogers /Allsport LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Would you like to sign up to Rugby World’s excellent weekly email newsletter? Click hereFor Back Issues Contact John Denton Services at 01733-385-170 Shaw reckons he’s lost an inch and a half in height over the years of scrum impactsCountry: EnglandAge: 38 (1 September 1973)Position: Second-rowBorn: Nairobi, KenyaA three-time Lions tourist, Simon Shaw spent 14 years at Wasps and has represented England in 71 Tests and at three World Cups. Here are a few things you might not know about Toulon’s newest lock…I needed a change. The move to Toulon came at the right time because I wanted a new experience. I needed something completely different and I came with an open mind. I’m enjoying life down here and I want to immerse myself in the culture.Life’s more relaxed in France. Every time I go back to the UK I go into overdrive. As soon as I get to the airport I’m thinking about where I have to go next, what time, and so on. Here it’s very laissez-faire.I used to speak Swahili. I was brought up in Kenya but remember little of the language now. I can also speak Spanish as I spent time in Spain. I’m trying my best with French but my schooling was many years ago and I don’t recall much. I pretty much understand everything but can’t converse very well yet.The kids love it here. I wanted the kids (Samantha, 8, Tyler, 7, Beau, 5, and Sienna, 2) to have a different experience. At home it rains a lot but over here the weather’s fantastic and they can play outside. The chance for them to learn another language is great. Everyone said they’d be speaking French in three months, so I expected them to be able to speak a third of French in a month! They’re doing well and are ordering meals for us.France has a lot of incredibly large players. Even at 6ft 8in and 18st 8lb, I often find that I’m no longer one of the biggest or heaviest on the pitch – I’m fourth or fifth on the list. I thought the game might be a lot faster in France, but it’s slower than I expected and all French clubs have a tough pack up front.Back in the day: Wasps v Gloucester, 17 September 2000Our trampoline ended up in the swimming pool. I spent a day and a half constructing this 13ft trampoline in the garden for my kids and the Mistral blew the thing in the air and it landed in the pool. It’s supposed to be a coastal breeze, but it’s a very hefty wind that comes out of nowhere.I’m not in any hurry to retire. It’s all doom and gloom out there and Toulon are interested in signing me for another year. I’ve also got a corporate events company, Set Piece Events. We’re launching a sevens festival in Brighton on 8-10 June (thebrighton7s.co.uk), which should be great. People concentrate on age too much. Lots of sportsmen and women achieve their ultimate goals in their 30s, such as Kelly Holmes, Linford Christie and Steve Redgrave, who won the last of his Olympic gold medals at 38.My first rugby memory is a bit random. I was playing football in the garden when my dad and our Welsh neighbour started swearing at each other across the porch for ten minutes. It was only later that I found out it was half-time during a Five Nations game between England and Wales.I hope rugby doesn’t become like football. I wouldn’t want players to ever be separate from fans, the people who watch and love the game. To socialise with fans is part of rugby. As soon as that stops rugby will be like football and other sports where players are so ‘big’ they’re untouchable.
Get to know rising star and Wasps fly-half Connor Eastgate with this exclusive Q&A. It must be good to ask those players for advice…They’re probably the highest-calibre decision-makers in the league so it’s good to pick their brains. How do you qualify for Scotland?My mum’s dad was born in Scotland and I was involved in the Exiles programme, then moved up through the U18s and U20s. The U20 World Cup was really good – I loved being in that environment. It was really professional and day in, day out I was with my mates.What are your goals this season?I’m really focused on Wasps and want to show I can be the back-up to Cips and Jimmy if needed. So it’s about performing in the A League and Anglo- Welsh Cup when I’m picked, and hopefully being involved in the Premiership.RW Verdict: Eastgate, who shares a house with fellow academy players, has serious talent. A standout at the U20 World Cup last year, he also qualifies for England and Germany but is likely to remain loyal to Scotland at Test level if selected. TAGS: Wasps This article originally appeared in the February 2018 issue of Rugby World Young Talent: Wasps player Connor Eastgate kicks at goal during the Anglo-Welsh Cup match between Ospreys and Wasps (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Date of birth 7 October 1997 Born Ramstein, Germany Club Wasps Country Scotland Position Fly-halfYou were born in Germany…Yes, my dad is in the military and was based there. I was only there for a year and a bit, then we came back to the UK.When did you begin playing rugby?I started playing tag at Aylesbury when I was eight and moved up with them until I was 14, then I joined the academy programme at Wasps. I played in their age-group sides and signed two years ago.What positions have you played?When I was younger I played a lot at 12. It was only when I was 17 or 18 that the academy coach thought I’d fit at fly-half and I’ve played there since. At the start it was a challenge; as the key decision-maker you’re put under a lot more pressure than in a wider position. I enjoy it now.Are you happy telling people what to do?When I was younger I never liked bossing people around, so it was difficult. But as I got older I realised that’s what I needed to do to improve and to make it at the top level. So I’ve grown into it.FOR THE LATEST SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS, CLICK HEREWhat are your strengths?Definitely my kicking – my kicking game, the length of my kick and stuff like that. I pride myself on being quite a strong defender too. People don’t recognise tens as the biggest defenders but I like to have a good defensive game. I’m working on my attacking game, especially at Wasps with Danny Cipriani and Jimmy Gopperth. I’m working on staying square in attack and being able to put team-mates in better positions.