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Wales center Henson misses Springboks clash

  • Story Highlights
  • Wales center Gavin Henson is ruled out of international against South Africa
  • Henson is suffering from an ankle injury and will be replaced by Tom Shanklin
  • The Cardiff clash is showdown between the world and Six Nations champions
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(CNN) -- Gavin Henson has withdrawn himself from Wales' rugby international against world champions South Africa in Cardiff on Saturday due to a nagging ankle injury.

Henson will not face world champions South Africa because of a nagging ankle injury.

The center, whose seven-year career with the Six Nations champions has been dogged by a raft of differing injuries and who has only played three games since his comeback from ankle surgery, will be replaced by Tom Shanklin.

Shanklin will slot into the outside center spot with fellow-Cardiff Blue Jamie Roberts shifting into his preferred inside center position. Andrew Bishop takes Shanklin's place on the bench.

"Gavin decided to tell us after the training session that mentally and physically he was not going to be ready for the game," said coach Rob Howley.

"We wanted to leave that decision down to Gavin Henson. He's a mature enough person to make that decision. The problem has been niggling him and he wanted to be 100 per cent, and he's obviously not feeling 100 per cent."

Henson has had a recurring problem with his Achilles, most recently after Ospreys' game against London Irish last weekend.

"It's been a six-day turnaround before an international. There are high demands on players and Gavin has fallen foul of them," added Howley.



Lee Byrne; Leigh Halfpenny, Tom Shanklin, Jamie Roberts, Shane Williams; Stephen Jones, Gareth Cooper; Andy Powell, Martyn Williams, Ryan Jones (captain); Alun Wyn Jones, Ian Evans; Gethin Jenkins, Matthew Rees, Adam Jones.

Replacements: Richard Hibbard, Duncan Jones, Ian Gough, Dafydd Jones, Dwayne Peel, James Hook, Andrew Bishop

South Africa:

Conrad Jantjes; JP Pietersen, Adrian Jacobs, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana; Ruan Pienaar, Fourie du Preez; Pierre Spies, Juan Smith, Schalk Burger; Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha; John Smit (captain), Bismarck du Plessis, Beast Mtawarira.

Replacements: Brian Mujati, Gurthro Steenkamp, Andries Bekker, Ryan Kankowski, Ricky Januarie, Francois Steyn, Jaque Fourie

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