British and Irish Lions 2013: Shane Williams admits shock at late Lions call-up

The former Wales wing surprised by call but insists he is fit and raring to go ahead of Tuesday clash with the Brumbies

British and Irish Lions’ latest call-up Shane Williams has spoken of his shock at receiving a surprise call from the Lions camp summoning him to Australia from his home in Japan.

The 36-year-old retired from international Test rugby 18 months ago, but he will line-up on the wing for the Lions once again as he has been named in the starting XV to face the ACT Brumbies on Tuesday.

He will join fellow late arrivals Billy Twelvetrees, Brad Barritt and Christian Wade in the back-line, with the latter two yet to arrive in Australia as they travel from America and Argentina respectively.

But for Williams, it is another chance to pull on the famous red shirt for a third consecutive tour, having featured in the Test squad in 2005 and 2009.

He arrives Down Under as injury cover for fellow Welsh winger George North, who has been struggling with injury and is a concern ahead of the first Test on Saturday.

"I had a phone call to see whether I would be able to help them out because there are a couple of injuries in the squad," Williams told talkSPORT.

"There was no chance I was going to say no, to be honest with you. It was completely out of the blue. I never thought I would ever get this opportunity again, but if me contributing on Tuesday is going to help the Lions squad be successful in the three Tests then that is what I am here to do.

"I am here to provide any help they need to be successful in the Test series.

"Rob Howley (Lions assistant coach) phoned me. It is still sinking in. I am over the moon, and what I will do on the field is give my 100% effort and commitment and do whatever it takes to help the team out.

Another Welshman, Jamie Roberts, is another serious concern after he picked up a hamstring injury in the victory over the New South Wales Waratahs on Saturday. While Warren Gatland awaits the results of his scan to reveal the extent of the injury to Roberts, Williams has no fitness concerns of his own despite plying his trade for the latter years of his career for the Mitsubishi Dynaboars in Japan.

"I have been playing in Japan over the last 12 months,” added Williams. “Fitness is not going to be an issue. If I had any doubt whatsoever that I wasn't capable or good enough then I would have said no, because there is no way I will let the Lions down."

Wales’ all-time leading try-scorer is set to leave the squad on Wednesday as he is due to cover the three-test series for radio, but he will have one last international appearance following his final game for Wales against Australia in December 2011.

"It is the pinnacle of any player's career. I always wanted to play for Wales, and I didn't ever consider I would be good enough to play for the Lions," Williams added.

"You really don't think you will be among the legends like Willie John McBride, Gareth Edwards, Gerald Davies, all those legends. To be associated with the Lions is the greatest honour a rugby player could have."

Gatland, who coached Williams during his tenure as Wales head coach which he will return to following the tour, admitted that the Lions were a little short on the wings due to injuries and players needing a rest.

"We just said we needed Shane for one game,” admitted the New Zealander. "We spoke to Shane and said the proviso is he comes in Monday, trains, plays on Tuesday and he leaves the squad on Wednesday. He was perfectly happy with that.

"The accolades have been given to Shane. He played in the last Lions Test match against South Africa, when they won. He's in pretty good nick.

"We know that he is fit and training, and I am sure he will come and do the jersey proud and do himself proud."

Despite the surprising call-up, and the fact that seven of the starting XV were not selected in the original squad, Gatland refuted the idea that the Lions are sacrificing this game in what could be their toughest game outside of the Tests during the tour.

"There is no way we are going out on Tuesday sacrificing a game. The motivation is there," he added.

"I am sure those players who take the field on Tuesday will be incredibly motivated to want to continue this tour unbeaten, and there is still that opportunity for players on Tuesday to put their hand up and say they want to be part of that Test XV or Test 23.”

News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
travel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home