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Last Updated: Friday February 06 2009 15:39 GMT

Injured Henson to miss Wales game

Gavin Henson

Wales have suffered a big blow to their Six Nations hopes after losing star centre Gavin Henson to an injury.

The Ospreys player picked up a calf injury in training for Wales' opening match of the 2009 Six Nations against Scotland on Sunday.

Tom Shanklin will step into Henson's boots at inside centre, while Osprey Andrew Bishop becomes a replacement.

Wales won the Grand Slam in 2008, and will be hoping to pick up the trophy again 12 months on.

Wales first match is away to Scotland, and that could prove a big test as the recent bad weather could affect their tactics.

Wales like to pass the ball and run with it a lot, but if it's wet and windy the ball can get slippery and hard to keep hold of.

Danny Cipriani in training
Danny Cipriani will play for England's second team, the Saxons
Scotland sprang a surprise for the match by dropping ace goalkicker Chris Paterson to the bench for the match, although they do have another top kicker in the team with Phil Godman at fly-half.

Much of England's tournament preparations have been all about dropping a player too - fly-half Danny Cipriani.

Instead team boss Martin Johnson has chosen Brive's Andy Goode to play number 10 in the match at Twickenham against Italy.

SIX NATIONS TABLE 2008
Wales captain Ryan Jones
1 - Wales
2 - England
3 - France
4 - Ireland
5 - Scotland
6 - Italy
Johnson has also brought back experienced players Mike Tindall and Mark Cueto as he tries to make England better than they were in the autumn in 2008.

Big game in Dublin

Ireland kick off their campaign with a match in Dublin against France and will be looking end a miserable run against the French side.

France have won the last seven matches between the teams, and a win in Ireland will give their hopes of winning the championship a big boost.

Ireland fans will be pleased that full-back Rob Kearney has been passed fit to play, while centre Brian O'Driscoll will captain the side for the 52nd time.