Halaholo and Lane in contention for Zebre

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Cardiff Blues have been boosted ahead of the new season starting on Friday that Willis Halaholo is fit and ready to go against Zebre in Italy.

The 30-year-old has been out since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament against the Cheetahs last November, just a few days after being called up to the Wales squad for the first time since qualifying on residency grounds.

However, after a successful surgery and undergoing rehabilitation during the coronavirus lockdown period, the centre has trained fully since the squad returned for a shortened pre-season and is now available for selection in the squad to open up the 2020/21 campaign.

Halaholo could be joined in the back line by Owen Lane, who is looking to recover from leg muscle injuries that have seen him sit out since January after picking up a ‘significant hamstring injury’ while training with Wales ahead of the Six Nations.

The 22-year-old also underwent surgery and was hoping to be back for August’s games against the Scarlets or Ospreys, but a slight calf issue prevented him from doing so.

Lane is still overcoming some minor niggles but could put his hand up for selection on the wing against Zebre as he aims to finally put bad luck with injuries aside and make it into a red jersey regularly this Autumn.

John Mulvihill has also updated this week that Ellis Jenkins will be slowly reintegrated into full training over the next month, as the two-year anniversary of his ACL tear suffered against South Africa approaches at the end of November.

The flanker has undergone three surgeries such was the seriousness of the tear alongside further complications, as well as spending time in America with world-renowned rehab expert Dr Bill Knowles. There have been a number of dates offered for a return to playing during his time on the sidelines though, with Jenkins unlikely to be rushed back any time soon.

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