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Blues Statement on Three Lions

27th April 2005

The management team of Cardiff Blues has today resolved the question of the possible availability of the region's three British & Irish Lions for the Heineken Cup play-off match in Italy on 29 May.

Chief executive Robert Norster said,

"Over the course of the past week I have consulted with the chief executive of the British & Irish Lions, John Feehan, the Blues' director of coaching David Young, and other colleagues. Given the importance of the forthcoming match in Italy we obviously had to consider the pros and cons of pursuing the possible availability of Gethin Jenkins, Tom Shanklin and Martyn Williams for that match.

"At the same time we had to respect the great honour that has been achieved by the three players in their selection for the tour to New Zealand and the importance of their own preparation period both before the tour begins and in the lead-up to the First Test.

"As former Lions David Young and myself had every sympathy for their aspirations once the tour is underway. We also recognise that it would be insensitive on our part to ask the players to make their own decision about their availability for the play-off match. All three have been faithful members of our squad this season and their contribution to the Wales Grand Slam campaign has brought honour to themselves and the Blues.

"Consequently, I can confirm today that the Blues will not be making any further enquiries about Gethin, Tom and Martyn being made available for the play-off match on 29 May. They will join the rest of the Lions squad in the middle of next month at their pre-tour training camp. They do so with our best wishes and we look forward to them distinguishing themselves as Lions in New Zealand."