Scotland hooker Ross Ford is desperate to get his chance for British and Irish Lions in their final Test against South Africa so he can end the tour on a high note.
The Lions are determined to secure victory in Saturday’s clash in order to avoid a whitewash following their last-gasp 28-25 defeat in Pretoria.
Ford has been on the bench for the two Tests and is eager to be unleashed on the park.
“Playing in a winning Lions Test match would be a great reward for all the hard work I’ve put in during the tour and during my whole career,” Ford said.
“All I’ve ever wanted to do is to win for the Lions. If I managed to do that on Saturday and play my part in it then it would be the highlight of my career so far and a great memory to take home with me from the tour.”
Ford revealed a determination within the squad to take something tangible from their impressive displays.
The Lions dominated the first half of last weekend’s clash but a spate of injuries contributed to their late collapse.
“Afterwards, the guys were pretty gutted to have come so close to winning,” the 25-year-old said.
“But straight away everyone resolved to go out in the last Test and to really go for it.
“We’ve come across and I think we’ve earned the respect of the South Africans.
“Winning the final Test is the least that we deserve after the amount of effort everybody has put in.
“To have come so close both times means that now the boys are determined to finish on a high note and not get whitewashed.”
Ford knew he was unlikely to come on in Pretoria after props Gethin Jenkins and Adam Jones went off inured.
“I’ve never propped before, so there was no way I could have gone on and tried to play,” the Edinburgh player wrote in a blog on his club’s official website.
“Once the props went off I had a feeling that I wouldn’t be going on with the way the game was going with uncontested scrums.
“To get that close to playing for the Lions in a Test match is a kind of funny feeling. You’re watching the game and you want to get in and do the job.
“But it is all about supporting the boys who are on the pitch and giving them as much encouragement as possible.
“Nevertheless at the same time you are just champing at the bit - desperate to get a taste of the action on the pitch.”