Lions 2013: Shane Williams backs Christian Wade for Test side

By Bryn PalmerBBC Sport in Canberra
Williams on 'dream' Lions call-up

Shane Williams has backed Christian Wade to force his way into the British and Irish Lions Test team to face Australia.

Former Wales wing Williams, 36, and England flyer Wade, 22, will both play against ACT Brumbies on Tuesday after late call-ups.

"Christian's a very aggressive runner, very fast, and enjoys taking defenders on.

"He is my kind of guy really," Williams said.

"He is more than capable of showing what he has got and being part of this Test series."

Wade, at 5ft 8in and 12st 11lb, and Williams, 5ft 7in and 12st 8lb, represent a vastly different threat to some of the other wings in the Lions party, notably Welsh giants Alex Cuthbert and George North.

Wade only made his England Test debut on 8 June against Argentina but is confident he can take his chance to shine with the Lions.

"It's been a rollercoaster few days and I am starting tomorrow, that is the first step," he said. "If I get the chance to play in a Test, I will gladly take it. It would be the proudest moment of my life so far.

"It's a massive thrill to play alongside Shane. I wouldn't have had the chance to play against him in my career, so this is probably beyond my dreams."

Williams took a phone call from Lions attack coach Rob Howley at 11 o'clock on Saturday night in his hotel room at Tokyo's Narita airport. He was already preparing to fly to Australia to work as a radio pundit for the forthcoming Test series against the Wallabies.

"Rob asked me if I would play on Tuesday and help the Lions out, basically," he said. "There was no way I was going to say no to that opportunity. It was completely out of the blue, I knew nothing about it."

Williams still has the try-scoring knack that brought him a record 58 tries in 87 Tests for Wales and two more on what he thought was his last appearance for the Lions, a record 28-9 win over South Africa in Johannesburg in 2009.

He has scored six tries in his three games so far this season - the last of them on Saturday - for the Mitsubishi Dynaboars in the Japanese second division.

"Of course it is not the same standard as we are going to be playing tomorrow [Tuesday]," he said. "But I have kept fit and worked just as hard in Japan as I have throughout my career. Hopefully it is not going to be too much of a shock to the system.

"I have played in enough international level matches to know what to expect. If I felt for one second I wasn't ready or good enough for this, I would have told Rob [Howley] where to stick it!

Scrum V feature from last October : Shane Williams in Japan

"Of course it is going to be difficult, and I have got to learn all the calls and patterns again. But we are all professional rugby players. We have got to do our homework tonight to make sure we are fully prepared mentally for this game. We don't want to let anyone down."

Brad Barritt, the third member of Tuesday's side to be summoned to Australia at short notice, has not played since suffering an ankle injury playing for Saracens against Toulon in a Heineken Cup semi-final seven weeks ago.

After working assiduously on his recovery with Saracens until 5 June, Barritt was on holiday with his wife in Los Angeles - "a bit of R&R and sight-seeing" - when Lions defence coach Andy Farrell called him on Saturday.

"She was delighted," said Barritt. "She's a rugby wife and has always supported me. Strangely, I had my gumshield in my toilet bag."

Shane Williams scores last try for Wales