Sweeney: I want to be a key man

First published in Sport

THE BATTLE for Wales' number ten spot has raged between Ospreys star James Hook and newly-recovered Scarlets injury victim Stephen Jones over recent weeks ahead of Sunday's World Cup opener against Canada.

Wonderkid Hook has stolen a march on Jones, captain during the 2007 Six Nations Championships, as the Scarlet recovered from his groin injury.

But Ceri Sweeney who wants to oust both from the stand-off position, has told of his personal frustrations as Wales fly to France for their World Cup adventure.

A lot of people think Hook is a better outside-half than inside centre, while huge question marks hang over Jones' fitness.

Ceri Sweeney is the obvious footballing number 12 but, if Jones is to be accommodated alongside Hook in Gareth Jenkins' side, something has to give.

So is Sweeney's role going to be that of a bit-part player in this World Cup?

He said: "I don't know, I will just go out and do what I can. If I think about it too much, I get me frustrated.

"I will do my best in training and hopefully I can make an impact. If they see me in the 22 or the starting line, then brilliant."

But his frustration is obvious as he adds: "Every time I've played, I've done nothing wrong. I came on against France in the last ten minutes and injected a good bit of pace into the game.

"I thought I made an impact and it's something I've got to remember and say I've done my best here but have I done enough to get into the next team'.

"I have to take it like that because it's not a personal thing at the end of the day. It is what the coaches see as their best team and I've just got to accept that.

"That's part of the fact of being a rugby player and being part of the squad. If you are not selected, you have to put it behind you and try and help the team if you can during the week."

And there is no animosity on the paddock between the trio. Sweeney added: "Training isn't designed in a way that you can put one over on each other. It is about putting things right and getting game plans into operation.

"It's just a case that you have to accept it sometimes and just keep knocking at the door."

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