Australia youngster Cameron Shepherd is aiming to use next month's tour of Europe as a springboard towards World Cup selection in 2007.
The 22-year-old full-back is considered one of the rising stars of Australian rugby after a successful season with the Western Force in the Super 14.
Speaking from Sydney ahead of the Wallabies' six-day training camp in Coffs Harbour, Shepherd said he was looking to continue his development as part of Australia's 37-man squad to tour Europe next month.
"I don't know about the other guys but the way I am looking at it is just continuing my development towards Super 14s for next year - I think that is going to be the major way for people to press for World Cup selection," ShepherdÂ said.
"That being said, obviously we want to win all the games we play in and if you can manage to get into the starting side for the end-of-season tour, you're definitely pushing for when the Tri-Nations comes around next year.
"So it is very important but I think it's just one of the many stepping stones in the next 12 months towards making the World Cup squad."
Born in England, Shepherd grew up in Sydney playing basketball and rugby. After impressive performances for his home state New South Wales, Shepherd was selected to represent Australia at Under-21 level in 2003, before turning out for Australia A the following year.
In 2005, he signed a three-year deal with the Force, and later that year was selected for the first time in the Wallabies squad to tour the northern hemisphere.
Shepherd featured on the wing in Australia's final Test of the 2006 Tri-Nations series, against South Africa, and is keen to continue his form on November's European tour.
"It was a little bit nerve-wracking," he admitted.
"I've a little bit of a groin strain at the moment as well which I was hoping wouldn't keep me out. I finally got over that and am glad to have made it and really looking forward to it."