If Head Coach Ian McGeechan wants some early pointers on who to select for the centre positions on next summer's British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa then he could do worse than turn up at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday night.
For not only does the Magners League opener in the Welsh capital see last season's champions, Leinster, take on the 2008 runners-up, Cardiff Blues, but it also sees 2005 Lions skipper Brian O'Driscoll go head-to-head in the midfield with Welsh Grand Slammer Tom Shanklin.
The Blues centre joined O'Driscoll on the 2005 tour to New Zealand, without making the Test side.
And as the countdown begins to the next Lions tour, Shanklin is sure that O'Driscoll is in line to make it a third successive trip. For those critics who believe O'Driscoll may have lost some of his shine in recent years, Shanklin has a quick retort.
"I've got no doubts that Brian O'Driscoll can make it onto a third British & Irish Lions tour. He is still a world class player," said Shanklin.
"He is nowhere near his sell-by date and I would expect him to probably captain the Lions in South Africa as well. But there is a lot of rugby to be played before then and I'm sure nobody is focussing that far ahead just yet.
"Who really knows how their form is going to be in February, when the Six Nations begins, or in April when the Lions squad will be cut to 35. You have just got to let things happen.
"I've got a big enough challenge to get into the Cardiff Blues side at present before even daring to think about Wales or the Lions".