Shanklin comes in for Wales international Jamie Robinson, who is suffering with a groin injury, in what is the Grand Slam-winning centre's first start since the trip to Wasps on October 7 in the Powergen Cup.
Blues assistant coach Rob Howley said he expected Shanklin to bring a more physical presence to the Blues midfield when he comes up against Wales centre Sonny Parker.
"We all saw the impact Tom made when he came on against Munster," said Howley.
"He brings a ball-carrying presence to us and he can't wait to make his first start of the season."
Amongst the replacements Gary Powell comes in for John Yapp, Duane Goodfield in for Gareth Williams and Tom Riley also takes his place on the bench.
Ben Blair, Cardiff's latest Kiwi import, will not feature in the 22-man squad, but is expected to make his debut for the Blues on Saturday in their trip to play Leinster in Dublin.
Cardiff Blues: Rhys Williams, Chris Czekaj, Tom Shanklin, Marc Stcherbina, Mosese Luveitasau, Nick Robinson, Mike Phillips, Gethin Jenkins, T Rhys Thomas, Tufaao Filise, Deiniol Jones, Rob Sidoli, Scott Morgan, Martyn Williams, Xavier Rush (c)
Replacements: Gary Powell, Duane Goodfield, Bradley Davies, Robin Sowden-Taylor, Wayne Evans, Nick Macleod, Tom Riley