Williams wants to finish on a high
February 25, 2011
Shane Williams dotted twice in Wales' morale-boosting win over Scotland in Edinburgh © Getty Images
Shane Williams believes that he still has plenty left to offer at Test level and believes he could yet overhaul the legendary David Campese on the all-time international try-scoring list.
The prolific winger has scored a total of 55 tries for Wales and the British & Irish Lions but he intends to bring the curtain down on his international career at the end of year. However, speaking ahead of his country's Six Nations clash with Italy in Rome, Williams feels he could yet surpass Campese's tally of 64.
"I would like to think I still have a few tries in me," the 34-year-old Ospreys ace said. "I am only nine short of David Campese and I could probably do that in 12 months! I try not to dwell on those sort of records too much, and we will have to see what happens for the rest of the season, but I am as hungry as ever.
"I like scoring tries and I am still enjoying my rugby at international level. I am still getting the buzz and feeling just as sharp on the field. There is no better feeling than when you are scoring tries. That is what I am here to do and hopefully I can continue to do that for the rest of the season."
Wales kicked off this season's Championship campaign with a disappointing defeat at home to England before bouncing back in style by defeating Scotland at Murrayfield a fortnight go. Buoyed by that victory - Wales' first in eight games - Williams now believes that Warren Gatland's men can now realistically entertain hopes of lifting the title.
"I still think Wales can win the Six Nations, there is so much to come from this squad. More importantly we have started to win again, and while I know it is only one game, it is a start," he said.
"It was not the prettiest performance against Scotland, but we did what we had to do. We have played some real eye-catching rugby in the past and lost. We were determined to go out against Scotland and start well, and that is what we did. The game plan went perfectly in the opening quarter. But we know Italy are a very different proposition at home. Having lost in Rome in the past, I know what it feels like."
Although he remains one of the most lethal finishers in world rugby, Williams believes that bowing out of Test rugby after this year's World Cup is the right call for him.
"I would be devastated after all these years to be dropped from the (Wales) squad," he said. "I have had such a great time and I would be gutted if it came to the point that I was not being selected for my country.
"Some of these youngsters are pushing me for my position at the moment, and slowly they will overtake me and get my position. I would rather hang up my boots rather than be told by the media or by anyone else, asking 'Why is he still playing, because he is too old.'"
There have been reports that Williams intends to finish his career in France but he feels that it would be too much of a wrench for him to leave his homeland.
"I have not thought about my future and I won't decide until the next couple of months," he said. "People have mentioned France. The Top 14 competition is a massive tournament with the revenue that is out in France at the moment, and the players they are currently bringing in are some of the best in the world, so you can see that appeal.
"It is unfortunate that Wales and other countries can't compete with this. It would difficult to leave the Amman Valley (his birthplace), though. I don't think people would ever talk to me again.
"I have been there so long now, I would not know what I would do with myself. I get a nosebleed when I come up to Cardiff!"
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league
So much for the great Australian revival, writes Greg Growden. It now has the potential of going off the rails after the capitulation at Eden Park