Ospreys openside flanker Justin Tipuric has played down his rivalry with Cardiff's Sam Warburton for Wales' number seven jersey.
Tipuric impressed in the Six Nations after replacing injured captain Warburton in the Wales line-up following their defeat to Ireland in their tournament opener.
Warburton returned at blindside for the final match and formed a deadly partnership with Tipuric as Wales beat England 30-3 to secure their second successive Six Nations title.
But Tipuric had to take a backseat as Warburton was named British and Irish Lions captain and started at openside in the first two Tests of the recent series against Australia.
However, Warburton injured his hamstring which saw Ireland's Sean O Brien and Tipuric - as a replacement - promoted for the final Test which the Lions won 41-16 in Sydney to clinch the series victory.
But although Warburton is still nursing his injury, Tipuric gave a diplomatic answer when asked if he fancied his chances of wearing Wales' number seven jersey during the end-of-year Tests.
"It's not a question for me, it's a question for the coaches," he told Walesonline
"It's a long time to those Tests.
"I just want to get out there and play for the Ospreys and see what we can do as a team.
"It's never nice to see a player getting injured - it's the worst thing in rugby but it's also part of it."
Despite his and Warburton's fine form, Tipuric maintained New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw and Australia's David Pocock, who missed the series with the Lions due to a knee injury, remain the world's leaders at openside flanker.
"McCaw has obviously been the best in the world and Pocock is up there," he added.
"It's going to be tough to knock them off their pedestal."