No Shanklin replacement

Lions head coach McGeechan opts to stick with a 36-strong squad

Last Updated: 18/05/09 5:41pm

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McGeechan: Standing by squad

McGeechan: Standing by squad

Sky Bet

British and Irish Lions boss Ian McGeechan has announced that he will not replace injured centre Tom Shanklin in his touring party, which departs for South Africa on Sunday.

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The Welsh international suffered a dislocated shoulder a fortnight ago whilst playing for Cardiff Blues in what was a sizeable blow to McGeechan's midfield plans.

But the Scottish coach has on Monday decided against adding tour cover and keeps the squad size at 36 players.

"When we selected the extra player back in April we were really trying to cover all our bases regarding the Heineken Cup final, where we could have been without 16 players," he said.

"As it's transpired, for the first two tour games we can cover the squad and really we want to give the opportunity and the responsibility to the players who are there to try to fill that role.

"Going back to 36 just gives us the chance to give players and combinations a bit more game time which is so important with so little time before the first Test."

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