"Obviously he is disappointed because he so wanted to play in the Tests," said Shanklin. "Having said that, he is fit at the moment and who says he won't be involved for the game in Wellington. Gavin didn't expand on his feelings, but then again he is a person of few words anyway. He will deal with the situation in his own way and I admire him for that."
Henson's place on Saturday is likely to go to Jonny Wilkinson whose experience at inside centre is minimal. Still, Shanklin said that there would be no back biting about selection from players who have been overlooked: "We said a long time ago that we were in this together and that whoever played, we would support them to the hilt."
Henson will play alongside in the centre with Ollie Smith for the game against a Southland side that finished one from bottom in this season's National Provincial Championship. As a contest it should be relatively straightforward for the Lions who warmed up for this game with a 30-19 success over Otago on Saturday.
"That was a good win," said Shanklin, who starts on the bench in Invercargill today. "Now we must try to keep the momentum going; starting with a victory over Southland."