Wales flanker Shingler aiming to shine at seven

Penarth Times: Argus-Mark   24-11-12
Wales v New Zealand All Blacks
Aaron Shingler is tackled by Aaron Cruden (6793912) Argus-Mark 24-11-12 Wales v New Zealand All Blacks Aaron Shingler is tackled by Aaron Cruden (6793912)

WALES back row forward Aaron Shingler isn't daunted by the prospect of a brutal breakdown battle with South Africa aces Francois Louw and Schalk Burger.

The Scarlets man is in pole position to deputise for injured flankers Sam Warburton and Justin Tipuric in the two tests against the Springboks.

Warren Gatland opted to go without a specialist openside in his 32-man squad, leaving Shingler and Josh Turnbull scrapping it out to slot in alongside Taulupe Faletau and Dan Lydiate.

Shingler donned the 7 jersey for the Probables in last week's trial game at the Liberty Stadium and recognises that he has sizeable boots to fill.

"Following Sam and Justin is tough, and I guess people will compare me to those two because they have both done well in past years," said the 26-year-old, who won the last of his seven caps against England in the 2013 Six Nations decider.

"It's going to be difficult, but if I am selected I will try to do myself justice by playing my game. It could be a slightly different game out there, which could suit me more."

The Boks are known for a brutal rather than cunning approach, prompting Gatland's decision to go with a large back row.

Shingler, who is 6ft 6ins, will provide a welcome lineout option but it is around the paddock that he will have to thrive against Bath scavenger supreme Louw and veteran enforcer Burger.

"It will be a challenge for us against South Africa's back row," said Shingler. "They have a good, powerful and physical unit, but we have good players in our squad as well.

"Is it a chance of a lifetime for me? I am probably viewing it like that. I've not played for Wales for a while, so I am happy to get an opportunity out there - it's going to be a hell of a battle.

"The key against South Africa is to meet the physical challenge. It's going to be tough, but for me, it's a great test.

"If we do well, it is going to be a hell of a high because it's probably one of the toughest tours out there."

Wales start the tour against Eastern Province Kings on June 10 before Tests in Durban and Nelspruit on June 14 and 21.

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