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Page last updated at 06:24 GMT, Tuesday, 23 June 2009 07:24 UK

Williams faces last Lions chance

Date: Tuesday, 23 June Venue: Newlands, Cape Town Kick-off: 1810 BST (1910 local time)
Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra & online and score updates on BBC Sport website
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Shane Williams has yet to score a try on the 2009 Lions tour
Shane Williams has yet to score a try on the 2009 Lions tour

Shane Williams admits he will enter the last-chance saloon against the Emerging Springboks on Tuesday in an attempt to rescue his Lions Test ambitions.

The Wales wing, 32, has seen Tommy Bowe and Ugo Monye move ahead of him in the Test berths to face South Africa.

"It's my last opportunity, I suppose, it is a massive game - it could be my last Lions game ever," Williams said.

"I need a big game, I know that, to have any chance of playing in the last two Tests. It is all up to me."

Williams is the reigning International Rugby Board World Player of the Year and Wales' record international try-scorer.

He arrived in South Africa as a seemingly automatic pick for the Lions Test side, but while Bowe and Monye can boast eight tries between them on tour Williams has not yet broken his duck.

An ineffective display at Newlands might well close the book on Williams' Lions career, having toured with the 2005 side to New Zealand and played in the 48-18 second Test loss.

However, with the Lions trailing the three-Test series 1-0 after Saturday's 26-21 defeat, the management team could be persuaded to tinker with the line-up for Saturday's crunch second Test at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria.


"You come on these tours to play in the Test matches and I want to play more than anything, I am more determined than ever to be involved," Williams said.

"I spoke to [Springboks wing] Bryan Habana after the first Test and told him I was gutted that I wasn't playing. He said 'you never know, I might see you next week'.

"I have just got to continue training hard and hopefully take my opportunities when they come. It's a last-chance saloon."

Williams admits he has found it difficult to make an impact during his previous tour starts against the Royal XV, Cheetahs and Sharks.

"My hands on the ball ratio has been down. Maybe when the ball does come my way, I am trying to look for things to do before I have even touched the ball," he added.

"I've found it very difficult to get into the games so far and no one is more disappointed than myself, but the tour isn't quite over yet.

"I put the pressure on myself... so it is up to me to change that."

Williams has not remotely hit the heights this year of 2008, when he landed the IRB award, won a Grand Slam with Wales, broke his country's Test try record and was named BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year.

"I knew it was going to be difficult this year," Williams said. "The attention seems to be on me constantly, whether it is off the field or on the field.

"I know I have to deal with that and hopefully it will make me a better player.

"I have felt the pressure, I would be lying if I say I hadn't, but I would like to think I am a good enough player to hold all that pressure on my back and become a better player from it.

"I think I have still got a lot more to offer. I want to prove a few people wrong - it's a massive game."

Emerging Springboks: Zane Kirchner (Blue Bulls); Luzuko Vulindlu (Sharks), Deon van Rensburg (Leopards), Morgan Newman (Western Province), Bjorn Basson (Griquas); Earl Rose (Golden Lions), Jano Vermaak (Golden Lions); Wian du Preez (Free State Cheetahs), Bandise Maku (Blue Bulls), Werner Kruger (Blue Bulls), Steven Sykes (Sharks), Wilhelm Steenkamp (Blue Bulls), Dewald Potgieter (Blue Bulls, capt), Jean Deysel (Sharks), Duane Vermeulen (Western Province).
Replacements: Tiaan Liebenberg (Western Province), Pat Cilliers (Sharks), Franco van der Merwe (Golden Lions), Jacques Botes (Sharks), Heini Adams (Blue Bulls), Willem de Waal (Western Province), Danwel Demas (Free State Cheetahs).

Lions: Keith Earls (Munster/Ireland); Shane Williams (Ospreys/Wales), Riki Flutey (London Wasps/England), Gordon D'Arcy (Leinster/Ireland), Luke Fitzgerald (Leinster/Ireland); Ronan O'Gara (Munster/Ireland, capt), Harry Ellis (Leicester Tigers/England); Tim Payne (London Wasps/England), Ross Ford (Edinburgh/Scotland), John Hayes (Munster/Ireland), Donncha O'Callaghan (Munster/Ireland), Nathan Hines (Perpignan/Scotland), Joe Worsley (London Wasps/England), Martyn Williams (Cardiff Blues/Wales), Andy Powell (Cardiff Blues/Wales).
Replacements: Lee Mears (Bath/England), Phil Vickery (London Wasps/England), Simon Shaw (London Wasps/England), David Wallace (Munster/Ireland), Mike Blair (Edinburgh/Scotland), James Hook (Ospreys/Wales), Ugo Monye (Harlequins/England).

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see also
Springboks recall flanker Burger
23 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Hook passed fit for Lions bench
22 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Emerging Springboks 13-13 Lions
23 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Lions eye changes for second Test
21 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Lions call for Wasps prop Payne
21 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
South Africa 26-21 Lions
20 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Southern Kings 8-20 Lions
16 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Sharks 3-39 Lions
10 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Cheetahs 24-26 Lions
06 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Golden Lions 10-74 Lions
03 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Royal XV 25-37 Lions
30 May 09 |  Rugby Union
Lions squad selector
07 May 09 |  Rugby Union
2009 Lions: Squad & results
09 Jul 09 |  Rugby Union

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