Tom Shanklin is hoping a big performance this weekend will put him in pole position for a Lions No. 13 jersey
Shanklin has fired a warning shot to rival Brian O'Driscoll after declaring, I want your British Lions place ahead of this weekend's showpiece European semi-finals. Irishman O'Driscoll is the favourite to wear the No13 Lions jersey against world champions South Africa next month, but Shanklin has a chance to impress this weekend when his side take on Leicester Tigers.
Shanklin saw his hopes of making the Test team in New Zealand four years ago dashed by a knee injury. But the double Grand Slam winner reckons he is ready to hit back and oust the 2005 Lions captain from Ian McGeechan's starting line-up.
Shanklin, 29, said: "I came back disappointed in 2005 because of the injury. I started the tour well but the knee became too painful and meant I couldn't get involved in the Test set-up - I hope to make amends in South Africa.
"It was great to go on one tour but to be selected for a second is extra special - it's a brilliant feeling. "But I want to get in the Test team and that's the next goal - I won't be going there to make up the numbers.
"It will be tough because Brian was the player of the Six Nations - and deservingly so. I had a slow start to the season but I found my form around the Six Nations and felt I was playing at a decent level of rugby. It's all about peaking at the right time."
Shanklin will start for Cardiff Blues in their mammoth Heineken Cup semi-final clash with Leicester Tigers on Sunday at the Millennium Stadium. And the Wales centre admits his fellow Lions team-mates face a nervous wait before boarding the plane on May 24.
Shanklin said: "The Lions takes a back seat for the time being because hopefully we've still got some big games left to play.I just need to stay injury-free and make sure I'm on the plane. It will be a nervous month ahead.