Injured Lion finally returns

Tom Shanklin will finally return to action this weekend, five months after his Lions dream came to a premature end. [more]

Injured Lion finally returns

Tom Shanklin will finally return to action this weekend, five months after his Lions dream came to a premature end.

The double Grand Slam winning centre was named in Ian McGeechan’s 37-man squad to tour South Africa but was forced to withdraw from the party prior to departure.

Shanklin had been expected to challenge Brian O’Driscoll for the Lions’ outside centre berth before he sustained a shoulder injury in a Magners League clash with the Dragons just days after the squad was announced.

The injury required surgery meaning the 29-year-old was reduced to a frustrated spectator while his club and international centre partner Jamie Roberts starred for the Lions against the Springboks.

But now Shanklin can finally put his injury nightmare behind as he lines up for the Blues against the Scarlets at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday evening.

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The former Saracens man is named in the No13 shirt as he looks to press his claims for a return to international duty in the forthcoming autumn internationals.

Of the Blues 2009 Lions tourists, only Roberts and Andy Powell are included, with the former joining Shanklin in the centre and the latter named among the replacements.

Gethin Jenkins, Martyn Williams and Leigh Halfpenny are all out injured, but 2005 Lions Gareth Thomas and Gareth Cooper and 2001 Lion Darren Morris are all included in the matchday 22.

Cardiff Blues  vs the Scarlets 

Ben Blair, Richard Mustoe, Tom Shanklin, Jamie Roberts, Gareth Thomas, Sam Norton-Knight, Richie Rees; John Yapp, T Rhys Thomas, Taufa’ao Filise, Bradley Davies, Paul Tito (captain), Maama Molitika, Robin Sowden-Taylor, Xavier Rush

Replacements: Darren Morris, Gareth Williams, Deiniol Jones, Andy Powell, Gareth Cooper, Ceri Sweeney, Gavin Evans

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