Mears eyes Test shirt
England hooker ready to tackle the Boks
Last Updated: 28/05/09 10:15am
Mears: Test hopes
England hooker Lee Mears is hoping to achieve his dream of making the Test team for the British and Irish Lions.
With Irish counterpart Jerry Flannery having pulled out of the tour to South Africa through injury, Mears is the favourite to wear the No.2 jersey in the opening Test.
However with Ross Ford and Matthew Rees also in mix for the shirt and head coach Ian McGeechan vowing to select his Test team based on performances in the warm-up games, Mears faces a battle to start against the Springboks.
The Bath ace, though, has set his sights on making it into the starting XV come the first Test on June 20.
"You hope one day you could be a Lion," said Mears.
"It's a dream to become a professional rugby player, then to become an England player, and it dawns on you that if you play well and if you are in the right place at the right time, you might get a chance with the Lions.
"It's in the back of your mind during the Six Nations, but you never realise it is actually going to happen.
"In international rugby, it's such a fine line between winning and losing.
"When you play club rugby, some days the boys are on fire and you score five or six tries, whereas Test rugby is all about being a little bit more clinical and tighter - that's why it is called the Test match arena.
"Coming together with the Lions, all the best players of the four nations, is amazing.
"It is about getting ready in a short amount of time. We are all buying into it, and we know the games will come thick and fast."