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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 May, 2003, 09:05 GMT 10:05 UK
Shanklin signs for Cardiff
Tom Shanklin in action for Wales
Shanklin will join Cardiff next season

Wales centre Tom Shanklin has signed for Cardiff and will play in their new regional side next season.

The Saracens three-quarter has been a target for Cardiff since the decision to go for five regional sides was made.

The highly rated centre has won 12 caps for Wales and will line up with fellow internationals such as Iestyn Harris, Jamie Robinson and Rhys Williams in an impressive back-line.

Shanklin joined Saracens in 1999 from London Irish and has gained a reputation for being a powerful ball runner who always looks to break the gain line.

BBC Sport also understand that Cardiff have concluded the signing of Bridgend hooker Gareth Williams.

Williams was not offered a contract with the new Bridgend-Pontypridd regional side.

He will be joined by backrow forward Nathan Thomas, who has joined from Bath.

Cardiff are not the only side to close to finalising their plans for next season.

Sean Holly, the Wales sevens and Gloucester academy coach, is likely to be named assistant coach of the new Neath-Swansea region later this week.

Newport's Jason Jones-Hughes is another casualty not feature in the new Gwent regional set-up.

The centre was brought over from Australia by former Wales coach Graham Henry and earned three caps for his adopted country.

However he will play no part in Mike Ruddock's future plans.




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