Delve wants to be on 2013 British & Irish Lions tour

Wales and Melbourne Rebels star Gareth Delve has said that he remains hopeful that he can be selected for the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour of Australia next year.

Delve has extended his Rebels contract for another season so he would already be in Australia for the tour which starts in May next year.

The British and Irish Lions are scheduled to face the Melbourne Rebels on the tour and the No.8 says that he is determined to prove that he is good enough to play for Wales even though he has only won a couple of caps over the last few seasons.

Twenty-nine-year-old Delve has won the hearts of Rebels fans since he joined the Super Rugby franchise in 2010 and recently won the Rod Macqueen Pursuit of Excellence Award and the People’s Choice Award at the club’s annual ceremony.

The former Gloucester star was called up for Wales’s tour of Australia in June last month after Toby Faletau was injured in the first test match but he was not selected for the second and third tests.

Delve is hoping that his knowledge of Australian Rugby players, fields and conditions will help him win selection for the Lions tour.

“I’d love to make that tour. It’s a huge ambition of mine,” Delve told the Western Mail.

“If I can perform, hopefully they’ll be casting the net wide and I’ll have a pretty decent knowledge of Australian Rugby by then. “

“It’ll be fantastic if that was the case.”

“It’s incredible to get those rewards and recognition.

“The fact we’ve had such a good season and to be part of such a great team is reward enough, but to get that recognition as a foreign player means a huge amount to me.”

The Rebels vice captain was also called up for Wales 45-man pre-World Cup squad last year but again failed to get over the final hurdle and was not asked to join the squad in New Zealand.

Delve almost ended his time with the Rebels with a move to Toulon but stayed on so at the very least if he not selected to play for the Lions he could be called up to play against them with the Rebels.

“I sort of had one foot out the door earlier on in the year which was going to be really tough.

“But to be able to be a part of this for another year, and the journey we’ll take with the Lions coming over next season is going to be massive for rugby in Melbourne.

“With the squad we’re putting together we could be knocking on the door of doing some big things.”

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