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.
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.