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Page last updated at 08:29 GMT, Friday, 4 February 2011

Shane Williams wants to go out in style with Wales

Shane Williams
Shane Williams has won 75 Wales caps since making his debut in 2000

Wales star Shane Williams has set his sights on a twin target in his last year of Test rugby - the Six Nations title and a successful World Cup.

Wales' leading try scorer plans to retire from the international game in October.

The 33-year-old's intended Six Nations swansong begins against England at the Millennium Stadium on Friday.

"I would love a very successful year - winning the Six Nations and doing well in the World Cup," said Williams

"And that would be it for me, really.

"For me to know this is my last Six Nations is tough to take," said Williams, who has scored 51 Test touchdowns.

"I don't want to finish playing rugby, I don't want to finish playing for Wales, but I have got to be realistic.

"It probably means a little bit more to me knowing there are only two home games for Wales in this Six Nations as well. I put myself under a lot of pressure every time I play, but perhaps a little bit more this time.

"I don't want to be still playing for Wales when I am not good enough and there are better players out there than me. That day is coming, that day will come.

"I don't want someone saying 'Look Shane, you are too old.' I am not handing over the reins yet, but there are a lot of boys pushing for my position.

I could look back and say I've gone out on a high and thoroughly enjoyed the experience

Shane Williams

"I would love a very successful year with Wales - winning the Six Nations and doing well in the World Cup - and that would be it for me, really.

"I could look back and say I've gone out on a high and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

"I can't wait to see these youngsters coming through, putting on the red shirt and having the time of their lives, because that's what I've had."

Williams has made the Wales team against England after defying the medics by recovering from a dislocated shoulder three weeks ahead of schedule to face the old enemy three weeks before his 34th birthday.

Wales could require the Ospreys wing to weave his magic once more as they target a first win since last season's Six Nations, having suffered six defeats and drawn with Fiji.

He lines up in a reshaped back division that sees James Hook at full-back, Morgan Stoddart on the other wing and fit-again Jamie Roberts forging a midfield partnership with Jonathan Davies.

If Wales can secure enough quality possession, the attacking options are rich and varied, and Williams does not intend holding back.

He added: "I've always been a player that likes to get involved in the game as much as possible.

"Gone are the days as a wing when you just scored a try in the corner, got a pat on the back and then had your third touch of the game in the 80th minute.

"Popping up at nine, taking the ball off 10, things like that, make the defenders' job a lot harder.

"I always played scrum-half in school - probably because I was half the size of everyone else - but when I was put on the wing I was determined more than ever to get involved in games.

"When you look at the statistics now, a wing is touching the ball 20 times plus. He's not being greedy and trying to score all the time, he's just getting involved in the game, and that's what it is all about for me.

"I knew I was up against it time-wise for this game the second I had the injury. I knew it was a three-month injury really, at best, but I was determined to work harder than ever to get back.

"So nine weeks to full fitness and playing again isn't bad. I have worked very hard to get where I am.

Shane Williams
Williams dislocated his shoulder in the clash with South Africa in November

"I've had a couple of the boys chuck me around with judo throws to make sure the shoulder is fine. I've done the extras to make sure everything is going to be fine.

"I am old enough to know that things happen on the pitch, but I am 100% confident I can go out on Friday, give 100% and not be worried about any shoulder niggles."

A far bigger worry could come in the form of England's menacing back-three - Ben Foden, Chris Ashton and Mark Cueto - as an attacking unit that has rightly earned rave reviews during recent months.

"Foden probably runs the ball more than he kicks it, he loves taking on players," Williams added.

"Cueto, I've played alongside and against. I thought he had a great autumn series. He made a lot of yards with ball in hand, he's a clever footballer.

"Ashton has scored some nice tries and what's good about him is that he is a player who goes looking for work.

"They are the players I respect. He's not one of those players who stays on the wing and just hopes to score tries."

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see also
Banned Rees' warning to Hartley
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Wales pick Hook in full-back role
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Hartley keen to silence Gatland
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Flanker Wood handed England debut
02 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Wales dealt Halfpenny injury blow
01 Feb 11 |  Welsh
England primed for hot reception
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Wales urged to pick Hook at 10
28 Jan 11 |  Welsh
Hook happy to fill Wales 15 shirt
26 Oct 10 |  Welsh
Johnson backs Hartley to respond
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Gatland questions Hartley value
25 Jan 11 |  Welsh
Faletau suffers Wales injury blow
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Williams omitted from Wales squad
23 Jan 11 |  Welsh
Six Nations to end Friday games
26 Jan 11 |  Welsh
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh

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