Ben Flower is determined to force his way into the Great Britain squad – but the Welshman doesn’t want to be included as a token gesture.
The revived Lions will play Tests against Fiji, New Zealand (twice) and Papua New Guinea in autumn.
While many have welcomed the return of GB, others have questioned the point, given the bulk of the squad will surely come from the England team.
Flower has made no secret of his desire to be on the Lions tour later this year – but only if his form warrants a place in the squad.
He said: “Players shouldn’t be selected just because they’re Welsh,Irish or Scottish players, they should be selected because they’re good enough.If they have to pick 30 English players, then they have to pick 30 English boys. But I want to be a part of it and I think I’m good enough.
“It’s a great chance for me, while I’m still playing at my best, it’s the perfect time for me.
“As long as I stay fit with no injuries, I feel I can get in the team.
“It’s exciting for myself to push for that spot. I want to be a part of that.
“The older I get, the less opportunity I’m going to get to play in it, so it’s a great chance for me.
“If I got the chance to play for Great Britain, and play against the best teams in the world, that would be the highlight of my career.”
Flower recognises the quality of props who will be eyeing spots, from St Helens duo Luke Thompson and Alex Walmsley, Warrington’s Chris Hill through to the NRL contingent including James Graham and the Burgess brothers.
“We all offer something different, we’re all different players,” said the compact, barrel-chested prop. “It’s good to have a mix of different players.”
The 31-year-old will get a chance to press his claim when he returns to the Wigan side to face Huddersfield tonight.
After an encouraging start to the season, Adrian Lam’s outfit have gone down to narrow losses against Hull FC and London Broncos – but Flower’s confidence in the side has not been dented by their last two games.
“We need to keep it positive,” he said after the Broncos defeat, which he didn’t play in.
“There was no point having another meeting where we’re getting hammered for everything we do.
“We’ve gone over the footage of the game and the boys seem relatively happy with what they did, especially through the middle. It’s just those end bits of the game we need to clear up and make sure we nail.”
Kick-off tonight is 7.45pm.