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Teen aims to spoil party for veteran Welsh winger
Uncapped wing Harry Robinson hopes to be a party pooper tomorrow when coming face to face with Welsh legend Shane Williams.
Wales’s leading try scorer is making his final appearance on the international stage after 87 caps for his country. With 58 tries already tucked safely under his arm, Williams will depart the international stage as the leading try scorer in Welsh history.
And while he finishes his career playing for the Barbarians at the Millennium Stadium playing against those he has stood side by side so proudly, Williams will find 19-year-old Robinson in no mood to gift him any soft tries on what is bound to be another emotional day for the Ospreys star.
"He is an incredible player, and he is finishing his career off on such a high note, but I am going to try to spoil the party,” said Robinson.
"I don't know if it is written in the stars that he's meant to score a try against Wales, but I will be doing everything I can to try to stop him."
Standing at just 5ft 9in and tipping the scales at 13st, Robinson is the lightest winger in the Wales squad but he says Williams has been an inspiration to him as he’s risen through the ranks.
"I try to almost play like Shane, stepping away from tackles and such, so he has been a big inspiration to the way I play. I am glad I got to play against him for the Blues against the Ospreys earlier this season, but I think playing against him on the international stage I will be a bit petrified. I kind of know what to expect from Shane - you expect the unexpected. It's going to be a great test for me.
"No-one can expect to be as good as Shane because he's a legend. But I've always looked up to him and studied the way he plays the game He's always on the move and that's what makes him so influential on a game. I certainly hope there's still space for smaller players in the game.
"It's pretty daunting when you look around at the size of the other guys, especially when we're doing a tackling drill and you've got these monsters like George North and Alex Cuthbert running at you.
"But my size can also be a weapon. I have a low centre of gravity and that can be hard for the bigger guys to stop. I've never been the biggest guy at any level I've played but I've also learned how to get around people, rather than through them."
Robinson also paid tribute to the work the Welsh Sevens team where head coach Paul John put him under his wing at the beginning of the 2011/12 IRB World Series last November.
"It’s been pretty non-stop with the Sevens, Under 20’s and seniors but I have to say the thing that has probably helped me the most was playing in the Sevens tournaments. Playing in Australia and Dubai on those stages at an international level has paid dividends to my game, and all credit to the Sevens for picking me to go.
"In Sevens, I know it’s a cliché, but there is no hiding place. Any little mistake you make, teams can capitalise on it like that. It teaches you that you can’t switch off.
"If you make the wrong decision in Sevens the opposition can capitalise and score. But it was quite a steep learning curve, because I hadn’t really played Sevens before the first tournament. But with the coaching staff we have such as Paul John and Babs (Gareth Williams) helped. So it was a great experience and a great help to my game.
"The quality of players the Sevens are producing is fantastic - players such as Alex Cuthbert and Lloyd Williams have come through. So Seven is paying dividends to the players in the 15s game as well, so it is a perfect pathway for boys coming through.”