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Page last updated at 15:09 GMT, Sunday, 24 February 2008

Try hero Williams puts team first

Shane Williams goes over for his second try against Italy
Shane Williams is closing in on Wales' all-time try-scoring record

Shane Williams insists his focus is on team honours not personal records.

The winger's double in Wales' 47-8 rout of Italy has moved him to within a score of Gareth Thomas' all-time Welsh try-scoring record of 40 touch downs.

But Williams, who boasts an incredible 39 tries in 54 caps, maintains Grand Slam glory is his number one priority.

Williams said: "The record would be great but I don't want to get it into my head otherwise I'll be going for a try every time I touch the ball."

The Ospreys star's four Six Nations tries makes him the second top try-scorer in this season's championship, one behind French winger Vincent Clerc.

Unbeaten Wales are still dreaming of Grand Slam glory in coach Warren Gatland's first Six Nations campaign.

While Williams is pleased with his personal strike-rate, he is determined to help his team-mates to success.

"The only reason I scored twice against Italy was because we played some good team rugby," he said.

"If the tries come, then they come but I'm not thinking about personal goals.


"Rugby is a team game and I want to help us to be a consistently winning team as I am enjoying playing for Wales.

"I was pleased to score against Italy but I found it difficult initially as there were a lot of mistakes in the first-half.

"It was quite frustrating as I was chasing kicks back and fore.

"But we wore Italy down and we found the second half easier as we looked the sharper team."

Wales' emphatic triumph over Italy in Cardiff maintained their unbeaten Six Nations campaign as the Welsh public dream of a repeat of the 2005 Grand Slam victory.

Winger Williams played every minute of that memorable 2005 campaign and scored three tries en route to Welsh sporting immortality.

Now he and Wales' class of 2008 prepare for a trip to Ireland on 8 March for a Triple Crown decider.

A win for Wales in Dublin would line up a Grand Slam clincher in Cardiff against France the following week.

"There is still a long way to go," warned Williams.

"We've got two tough games left but that won't stop the expectant Welsh public dreaming of a Grand Slam."

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see also
Toughest tests to come - Gatland
23 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union
Byrne hails 'outstanding' Wales
23 Feb 08 |  Welsh
Wales 47-8 Italy
23 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union
Wales v Italy match stats
20 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union
BBC Sport Wales coverage
21 Feb 08 |  Wales

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