Versatile Shanklin targets Test role

British & Irish Lion Tom Shanklin is hoping his versatility will put him at the forefront of Sir Clive Woodward's mind when it comes to selection for the three-Test tour of New Zealand. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

British & Irish Lion Tom Shanklin is hoping his versatility will put him at the forefront of Sir Clive Woodward’s mind when it comes to selection for the three-Test tour of New Zealand.

Shanklin, who has 31 caps for Wales and was outstanding in the triumphant 2005 Six Nations campaign, can play at centre, on the wing or at full-back – and would relish any opportunity he is handed this summer.

"My goal is to play centre, but if they want me to play on the wing I can," Shanklin told the Independent.

"It’s a team game. I think being versatile helps me. Clive has already said that everybody will get a chance to stake a claim.

"Inevitably there are going to be people who are unhappy at not making the Test team. That’s always the case, and there are bound to be some injuries."

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The 25-year-old Grand Slam winner was an interested spectator for the 2001 Lions tour and is enjoying being a part of the set-up this time around.

"When they went to Australia I was with Saracens, and decided to follow the tour with a few mates," Shanklin said.

"When I looked at the Lions I thought that one day I wanted to be part of this elite team. Four years down the road and I’m pinching myself.

"When you’ve got so many players to choose from you never know. When I got the news it was the most brilliant feeling. It was also a huge relief."

Shanklin added: "The way this whole thing has been organised is amazing.

"There’s no expense spared. Clive is putting everything into this. It’s obviously massively important to him, and it gets you thinking about how big this tour is."

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