Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Williams Struggles to Be Positive after the Lions' Mauling

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Williams Struggles to Be Positive after the Lions' Mauling

Article excerpt


SHANE WILLIAMS has hinted at his frustration at being snubbed for the first Lions Test against New Zealand, admitting he was "really disappointed" about being left out along with Wales teammate Gavin Henson.

Sir Clive Woodward, who has been the target for criticism following the Lions' series whitewash against the All Blacks, left the inform pair out of the side for the first Test, while including out of sorts England World Cup winners Jason Robinson and Jonny Wilkinson.

And Welsh wing Williams, who performed brilliantly during the Six Nations last year, could not hide his resentment.

Upon his return to Britain, Williams was asked if he felt he was "not given as much of a chance as you might have been".

"Maybe. It depends how people look at that," he replied. " Obviously I was really disappointed to be left out of the first game, as was Gavin.

"But I got my chance in the second Test and I believe the tour went pretty good for myself."

Williams admitted the series humiliation was "the toughest tour I've been involved in".

"It's good to be back, it's been a tough tour and it has taken it's toll," the Wales flyer admitted.

"But I enjoyed it, it was the experience of a lifetime and certainly the toughest tour I've been involved in with the toughest games of my career. You can only learn from that, it was a great experience which I will cherish forever."

Unsurprisingly, Williams fended off criticism about the tour.

"We went out there with the right attitude, the right way to play rugby with a great squad, and at the end of the day it just did not come off on the field.

We're very disappointed but no one can take the blame for it," he said on arrival at Heathrow.

"I said before coming out here they [New Zealand] are the best team in the world. On their day when they perform like that, they have been almost untouchable.

They have some great players and they take a lot to beat."

As the Lions return, the overall verdict on the tour has to be that it was a stunning success for 21 minutes. …

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