Tom Shanklin wants to see Gavin Henson playing again for Cardiff Blues

Heineken Cup Pool Two - Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues

Venue:
Murrayfield
Date:
Friday, 16 December
Kick-off:
2000 GMT
Coverage:
Live on BBC Radio Wales MW, BBC Radio Cymru & online, score updates on BBC Radio 5 Live & BBC Sport website.
Tom Shanklin and Gavin Henson
Shanklin and Henson were team-mates in Wales’ 2005 Grand Slam

Former Wales centre Tom Shanklin has said he wants to see Gavin Henson feature in Cardiff Blues' Heineken Cup clash at Edinburgh on Friday.

Henson joined the Blues in October but has not played since he injured a wrist during Wales' August World Cup warm-up win over England.

Blues coach Gareth Baber has confirmed Henson is fit and will be considered for the game at Murrayfield.

"I'd like to see him involved in the 23 [-man squad]," said Shanklin.

The former Blues and Wales centre added: "Hopefully he's all fit and raring to go because there is space for him.

"There's space for him in any team really if he's 100 per cent fit. He offers something that no other 12 [inside centre] does in this country.

"Not only has he got size and strength and power, but he's also got some great touches on the ball, plenty of time with ball in hand and obviously a huge kicking game to go with that.

"There's plenty of potential there. We saw glimpses of that pre-World Cup and unfortunately he had another setback with injury.

"If he's fit and there are no injuries to Jamie [Roberts] and Casey [Laulala], I think he'll start on the bench.

"It's such an important game for the Blues. They've got a very good chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup."

Henson, who had spells with Saracens and Toulon after leaving the Ospreys in 2010, has previously said he would like to switch to fly-half.

But former Wales team-mate Shanklin believes the 29-year-old should continue as a centre for club and country.

"He's played many times for the Ospreys against Cardiff at 10 [fly-half] and probably dominated us," added Shanklin.

"He can play 10 very well but I do see him as a 12. What we have got at the moment is plenty of depth in the centre.

"It's probably one of the strongest positions we've got. Gavin could fit into any team if he wants it.

"He's had quite a few injuries and quite a few personal problems that we know about.

"He's probably done the right thing if his head wasn't on the game. He's taken a bit of time out, got himself together and come back stronger from it."

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