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Page last updated at 15:30 GMT, Monday, 15 June 2009 16:30 UK

Wing Williams eager for Test call

SOUTHERN KINGS v LIONS
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth Date: Tuesday, 16 June Kick-off: 1400 BST (1500 local time) Coverage: Text commentary and score updates on BBC Sport website, updates BBC Radio 5 Live Live


Shane Williams
Shane Williams is IRB world player of the year and Wales' record try-scorer

Shane Williams is hoping to shrug off a stomach bug to star in the Lions' match with the Southern Kings on Tuesday.

The Wales wing is desperate to impress in Port Elizabeth in a last-ditch bid to win a place in Saturday's first Test against South Africa in Durban.

Williams says Test selection to play the Springboks is 'all to play for.'

But Martyn Williams insists: "If you are picked against the Southern Kings, realistically you are probably playing for a spot on the bench on Saturday."

The 32-year-old IRB world player of the year has struggled for form since winning the international accolade last year.

The Ospreys star was named to start in his fourth Lions tour game against the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday hoping not to go from the world's best player to a Lions Test outcast.

Williams, though, is a major doubt for the British and Irish Lions to play in Tuesday's game due to a bout of gastroenteritis.

He has not travelled to Port Elizabeth from the Lions' current base in Cape Town so Tommy Bowe has made the trip as the Irish wing is now on standby.

Williams - one of three Welshman picked to start against the Southern Kings alongside Andy Powell and James Hook - hopes to be fit to impress Lions head coach Ian McGeechan.

606: DEBATE
ungifted

"We do realise it's a short turnaround for Saturday," Williams told BBC Sport.

"But we've been assured by the coaching staff that the Test side hasn't been picked.

"There's a lot for the guys to go out and play for and it's certainly the same for me.

"I want go out and enjoy the day, not worry too much about the weekend and get a big performance.

"The only way I can get those half-chances is to get involved as much as I can."

Williams has been picked for the so-called Lions 'dirt-trackers' - the nickname of the non-Test team on a Lions tour - to play the Southern Kings.

Tommy Bowe and England's Ugo Monye are favourite to start on the Lions wings against world champions South Africa in the first Test in Durban on Saturday.

Williams played five games on the Lions 2005 tour to New Zealand and his five tries in a 109-6 victory over Manawatu persuaded Sir Clive Woodward to play him in the second Test against the All Blacks, game the Lions lost 48-18.

So Williams knows full well that impressing in a pre-Test fixture could earn him a Test call.

But he said: "I just want to go out, play well, have a good performance from myself and the guys and then put the worry in the hands of the coaches.

"It's up to them then - it's their decision and I can't dwell too much on what's going to happen on Saturday. As far as I'm concerned it's all to play for.

"Hopefully it's going to be an open game, maybe a few mistakes and I can get involved in that way.

"We don't know much about the Southern Kings at all but it's going to be as tough as the other games we've played.

"I'm just looking forward to getting out there and getting involved as much as I can, getting hands on the ball and just enjoying myself again."


Southern Kings: T Mangweni; W Human, F Welsh, D Wet Barry, M Turner; J van der Westhuyzen, F Hougaard; J Engels, D Kuun, R Vermeulen, M Wentzel, R Skeate, M Mbiyozo, S Tyibilika, D Nell.
Replacements (from): S Westraadt, K Buys, L Payi, H Stride, J Fowles, M Stick, E Watts, B Fortuin, H Grimes, M Coetzee.

Lions squad: K Earls (Munster & Ireland); S Williams (Ospreys & Wales), R Flutey (Wasps & England), G D'Arcy (Leinster & Ireland), L Fitzgerald (Leinster & Ireland), J Hook (Ospreys & Wales), M Blair (Edinburgh & Scotland); A Sheridan (Sale Sharks & England), R Ford (Edinburgh & Scotland), E Murray (Northampton & Scotland), S Shaw (Wasps & England), D O'Callaghan (Munster & Ireland, capt), N Hines (Perpignan & Scotland), J Worsley (Wasps & England), A Powell (Cardiff Blues & Wales).

Replacements: M Rees (Scarlets & Wales), A Jones (Ospreys & Wales), T Croft (Leicester Tigers & England), D Wallace (Munster & Ireland), H Ellis (Leicester Tigers & England), R O'Gara (Munster & Ireland), U Monye (Harlequins & England).



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see also
Southern Kings 8-20 Lions
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Martyn Williams column
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Injured Kearney out of Kings game
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Williams defended by Lions legend
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McGeechan praises Lions character
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Western Province 23-26 Lions
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2009 Lions: Squad & results
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Rugby union on the BBC
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Rugby union positions guide
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