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Page last updated at 10:38 GMT, Thursday, 24 February 2011

Shane Williams targets David Campese try tally

2011 Six Nations championship - Italy v Wales
Venue: Stadio Flaminio, Rome Date: Sat, 26 February Kick-off: 1430 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC HD channel, Red Button and online from 1400; listen on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru and online; live text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles


Shane Williams
Shane Williams made his Wales debut against Italy in 2000

Wales' record-breaking try scorer Shane Williams hopes to close in on David Campese's 64-try mark this weekend.

Joining Williams in the back line against Italy will be Lee Byrne, Morgan Stoddart, James Hook, Jamie Roberts, Stephen Jones and Mike Phillips.

And with thoughts on retirement in 2011, Williams has his sights set on Campese's 64-try Test tally.

"I'm only nine tries away anyway, so I should get that by the end of the year shouldn't I?" said Williams.

If he achieves or beats that aim, Williams would still remain behind the official world try record holder, Japan's Daisuke Ohata, who touched down 69 times between 1996-2006.

However, Australia legend Campese's total is widely regarded as the benchmark due to the higher level of competition he played at compared to Ohata.

The 77-cap Wales winger, on 55 Wales tries, will celebrate his 34th birthday at Stadio Flaminio on Saturday and says he is delighted to have James Hook alongside him at number 13.

Wales coach Warren Gatland has brought veteran fly-half Stephen Jones back into the starting line-up at number 10 in their Six Nations clash.

The 33-year-old replaces James Hook in Wales' playmaker role in Rome as Hook moves to outside centre to replace the injured Jonathan Davies.

Jones was dropped as Wales ended their eight-match winless run in Scotland but returns to win his 98th cap.

"I'm glad Hook is playing - I certainly enjoyed playing outside him against Scotland. I work very well off him as well, so maybe him playing is a blessing in disguise for me, I don't know," said Williams.

"It's also nice to have Stephen Jones back - you do need a bit of experience out in Rome I believe as it's a strange kind of game and you've got to have your wits about you and it's always tough.

Williams believes Wales coach Gatland has selected a strong back line against Italy - himself, Lee Byrne, Morgan Stoddart, James Hook, Jamie Roberts, Stephen Jones and Mike Phillips.

I've lost out there in Italy, and there's no shame in that because they are a very good side

Shane Williams

"It's a back line determined to go out and play some rugby against a very strong Italian side," said Williams, who made his first full Wales start against Italy in the 2000 Six Nations.

"Italy is a very proud nation and I think the supporters certainly get behind the players - it's quite an intimidating place to go, not Rome itself but Stadio Flaminio," he said.

"What Italy tend to do, especially at home, is stop teams from playing. The game gets scrappy and gets a little bit more physical up front."

Wales and Williams go into their 2011 Six Nations clash against Italy with some trepidation, having been beaten by their opponents in 2003 and 2007.

"I've lost out there in Italy, and there's no shame in that because they are a very good side," said Williams.

"Italy always gets teams into playing a game that suits them - I think we saw that against Ireland when they didn't really let Ireland play any rugby whatsoever and that's what we've got to come away from on Saturday.

"I'm still enjoying my rugby for Wales - I love it, there's no better feeling. What I want to do is finish when I think I'm ready and when I'm on top of my game," he said.

"I've already got the boys breathing down my neck - the likes of Tom Prydie, Leigh Halfpenny and other guys as well.

"I'd rather hang my boots up when I feel I'm ready rather than be kicked out and then be talked about for playing too long," added Williams.

Wales' all-time leading try scorer in the women's game is Non Evans, with a tally of 64 touchdowns. She retired from international rugby in December 2010.


Wales: Lee Byrne (Ospreys); Morgan Stoddart (Scarlets), James Hook (Ospreys), Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues), Shane Williams (Ospreys); Stephen Jones (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Ospreys); Paul James (Ospreys), Matthew Rees (Scarlets, capt), Craig Mitchell (Ospreys), Bradley Davies (Blues), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Newport Gwent Dragons), Sam Warburton (Blues), Ryan Jones (Ospreys).
Replacements: Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), John Yapp (Blues), Jonathan Thomas (Ospreys), Josh Turnbull (Scarlets), Tavis Knoyle (Scarlets), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Leigh Halfpenny (Blues).

Wales squad:

Forwards: Paul James (Ospreys), John Yapp (Blues), Craig Mitchell (Ospreys), Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Scott Andrews (Blues), Matthew Rees (Scarlets, capt), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Bradley Davies (Blues), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Blues), Jonathan Thomas (Ospreys), Andy Powell (Wasps), Josh Turnbull (Scarlets), Rob McCusker (Scarlets), Dan Lydiate (Dragons).

Backs: Mike Phillips (Ospreys), Dwayne Peel (Sale), Tavis Knoyle (Scarlets), Stephen Jones (Scarlets), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), James Hook (Ospreys), Jamie Roberts (Blues), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Shane Williams (Ospreys), Morgan Stoddart (Scarlets), Lee Byrne (Ospreys), Leigh Halfpenny (Blues).



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see also
Italy 16-24 Wales
26 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Mallett makes three Italy changes
24 Feb 11 |  Welsh
Jones wants Wales to take risks
24 Feb 11 |  Welsh
Williams dreading retirement date
18 Feb 11 |  Welsh
Davies injury forces Hook switch
22 Feb 11 |  Welsh
Wales wary of Italy, says Jenkins
22 Feb 11 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Coming up next on Scrum V...
03 Nov 08 |  Welsh
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh


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