London Irish back Steven Shingler harbours Wales ambition

Steve Shingler
Shingler signed from the Scarlets in January

London Irish back Steven Shingler says he is hoping to use Friday's Heineken Cup game against Cardiff Blues to get himself in the Wales reckoning.

The former Scarlets fly-half has played for Wales Under-20s and is hoping to make the move into the senior squad.

The Exiles travel to Cardiff hoping to put behind them last weekend's opening Heineken Cup defeat by Edinburgh

"It'll be nice to go back to Wales and put down a marker," Swansea-born Shingler, 20, told BBC Radio Berkshire.

Shingler signed for London Irish in January, having made four appearances for the Welsh region.

Primarily signed as a fly-half, he has spent much of the season playing at centre and says he is looking forward to going 'home' this weekend.

"I'll go home for the weekend and it'll be nice to go back and see the family and hopefully it'll be an enjoyable weekend instead of a depressing one," he said.

"It'll be nice to show that I'm still here and in the mix and hopefully I can put in a good performance and get people talking about how well I performed and show them that I am one for the future.

"It was a big decision to leave Wales and move away from home. Mike Catt (backs coach) is here and I felt I need to move here to reach my goals.

"It is a dream to play international rugby and what you aspire to do. I've not had any contact and I know it is tough to get into the Wales reckoning when you move away but I am playing every Saturday and that is what I enjoy.

"It's worked well (the move) and my form is pretty good and I've had a lot of game time. I've managed to play well enough to keep my place.

"Mike Catt has pushed me and tested new boundaries and it's worked out."

Irish will be hoping to come away from Cardiff with some points following their disappointing opening-game defeat by Edinburgh at the Madejski Stadium.

Shingler added it would be extra special for him to beat the Blues considering his roots to Llanelli and Swansea, saying: "It would be lovely to stick one on them."