Gordon D’Arcy is one of several contenders in line to replace Tom Shanklin on this summer’s Lions tour, after the Welsh international was last night ruled out for 16 weeks with a shoulder injury.
The Wales centre fell awkwardly after a tackle by Dragons full-back Jason Tovey in the Cardiff Blues’ 26-12 Magners League win at the Arms Park on Wednesday night.
A scan revealed reconstructive surgery is needed on his right shoulder.
"We are all feeling for him at this difficult time of disappointment and frustration," said Blues chief executive Robert Norster.
Shanklin’s woes open the door for D’Arcy who struggled to fit in on the shambolic 2005 tour to New Zealand, but his recent form since returning from injury makes him a viable contender.
He would be vying with James Hook, Max Evans and English duo Josh Lewsey and Mike Tindall for the right to replace the unfortunate Shanklin, whose 2005 tour was also ruined by injury.
Munster’s Alan Quinlan will learn his fate next Wednesday when he appears before the ERC Disciplinary Committee in Dublin for allegedly eye-gouging during last weekend’s Heineken Cup semi-final against Leinster.
If found guilty Quinlan will almost certainly miss the Lions tour to South Africa.
Meanwhile, South Africa have made a bid to host either the 2015 or 2019 World Cup, after the newly elected Jacob Zuma-led government agreed to underwrite the costs of staging the event.