Peel looking to emulate former heroes

Dwayne Peel is hoping to claim the coveted British & Irish Lions Test scrum-half spot - thanks to a little help from former Welsh rugby heroes Rob Howley and Robert Jones. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Dwayne Peel is hoping to claim the coveted British & Irish Lions Test scrum-half spot – thanks to a little help from former Welsh rugby heroes Rob Howley and Robert Jones.

Both players were among Peel’s illustrious predecessors in the Wales number nine jersey and he has not been shy to tap their knowledge.

Howley featured on both the 1997 and 2001 Lions tours, while Jones was a star of the 1989 Australia trip, setting standards Peel is eager to emulate.

A convincing display against Wellington will improve Peel’s claims, despite competition from his fellow Lions scrum-halves Matt Dawson, Chris Cusiter and Gareth Cooper.

And it would continue the 23-year-old’s startling rise to prominence during a career that has already harvested 41 caps and a Six Nations Grand Slam campaign.

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"I have spoken to Rob Howley and Robert Jones about Lions tours," he said. "I speak to Robert Jones quite regularly, and he just told me to give it my best and enjoy the whole occasion.

"Chris Cusiter’s performance (against Taranaki) does push me that bit more, but there was always going to be a massive battle for places because everyone wants to be in the Test match side."

Peel and Jonny Wilkinson will forge an exciting half-back combination as the Lions look to bounce back from their defeat against New Zealand Maori last weekend.

"It is important that Jonny and I get a good understanding going, as it is for any half-back pair," Peel added.

"There is a responsibility on me to get the forwards where I need them, and almost harry them around the pitch, but I suppose that is the role of a scrum-half and it is the case in every game, regardless.

"Wellington are a quality side, and they’ve featured well in the National Provincial Championship in the last two years, but we had a great training session on Sunday, so hopefully we will be firing on all cylinders."

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