Back keeps door open for Lions

Leicester Tigers veteran Neil Back has not given up hope of being selected for the British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand this summer. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Leicester Tigers veteran Neil Back has not given up hope of being selected for the British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand this summer.

The 36-year-old plans to finish his playing career this summer and has been appointed technical director at Welford Road for next season.

But the former England flanker, who has been on two Lions tours, would relish a chance to be a part of Sir Clive Woodward’s squad.

He said: "I have been on two Lions tours, if I wasn’t picked it wouldn’t bother me, but I have told Clive and other selectors within the Lions set-up not to think in any way that it would diminish my commitment to the tour or to playing.

"I am what I am and I do what I do; I am a very determined individual and I will give my best, always, even if I am retiring next season.

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"If I went on a third Lions tour it would be a fantastic way to finish my career, if I don’t it will be great to have a summer holiday with my family for the first time in a while."

The World Cup-winning flanker could cap his playing career with the Premiership title and European Cup glory before taking up his new post, which will include being head of the Tigers academy.

But Back is prepared to extend his career for a few months if Woodward calls him up.

He added: "Nothing has changed for me – from the beginning of the season until now," he said.

"Having retired from international rugby last year, my focus has been entirely on Leicester Tigers – as a player, first and foremost, and as a defensive coach.

"I said then and I will say it again, if the Lions selectors believe that I fit into their plans, then I will go."

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