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Veteran Williams impressed by Wade

Shane Williams has described England speedster Christian Wade as "my kind of guy" ahead of them forming an unlikely strike partnership for the British and Irish Lions on Tuesday.

Only two days ago, Williams was in Japan playing for his club side Mitsubishi Dynaboars, while Wade had an England Test match on his mind against Argentina. But on Monday they trained with the Lions at North Sydney Oval ahead of starting against the Brumbies, when they will be joined by fellow threequarters and new arrivals Brad Barritt and Billy Twelvetrees.

"I have paid close attention to Christian and I've spoken to Stephen Jones (former Wales and Wasps fly-half) about him," Williams said. "He is a very talented player, new on the scene, but already raising eyebrows. He is obviously a massive talent, and I enjoy the way he plays. He is a very aggressive runner, obviously very fast, and he enjoys taking defenders on."

Williams added: "He is my kind of guy, and I am looking forward to playing with him. He is more than capable of showing what he has got tomorrow and being part of this Test series."

Wade, 22, revealed that Williams had always rated among his rugby heroes, adding: "It is a massive thrill to play with Shane.

"I have watched him from a distance and tried to learn from him, and to be able to play alongside him is beyond my dreams. I didn't get the chance to play against him, and to be able to play with him is taking it to the next level."

The Lions, especially given the new-look nature and limited preparation time together of their threequarter unit, have it all to do at Canberra Stadium as they seek a sixth successive tour victory.

When the teams last met 12 years ago, a late Austin Healey try and Matt Dawson conversion gave the Lions an unlikely 30-28 triumph after they trailed for most of an enthralling contest.

"We are professional rugby players," Williams said. "We've played alongside the majority of these players before. We have to do our homework tonight to make sure we are mentally prepared for this game. We want to give 100 per cent and we don't want to let ourselves down. We are fully prepared to give it our all and play the way we play."

Williams' last game was for the Dynaboars in Narita on Saturday, accompanied by a temperature of 35 degrees, after which he received a telephone call from Lions assistant coach Rob Howley sounding out his availability.


From Belfast Telegraph