THE desire to avoid another spell in the international wilderness is fuelling Aaron Shingler's all-action start to the Six Nations.

The 30-year-old feared that his Test career was over when he was left out of the squad for the summer tour to face Tonga and Samoa.

However, James King was forced to pull out through injury and acting boss Robin McBryde called for Shingler.

It was a call-up that was richly-deserved after he played a key role in helping the Scarlets triumph in the Guinness PRO14.

Shingler, whose last cap had been in South Africa in the summer of 2014, has grasped that chance and has started in seven of the last eight Tests, only sitting out the autumn encounter with Georgia.

The blindside and openside Josh Navidi have shown that they can cut it in international rugby, meaning the feared disaster in the absences of Sam Warburton, Dan Lydiate and Taulupe Faletau has not materialised.

Such is their form that Lions openside Justin Tipuric has started on the bench in the Six Nations clashes with Scotland and England.

"The opportunity has come our way and we are making the most of it," said Shingler. "It is a competitive position and there are boys to come back in, we will see what the next games bring.

"I had not played for about two years, just a few one-off opportunities. Now I have had a run of games and am a bit more comfortable and confident, hopefully I can make the most of my opportunity.

"My mindset is one bad game and that could be the end of my international career. I have got that in my mind when I go into games – I make sure I put everything on the line and hold nothing back."

The Scots and English have felt that with Shingler flourishing in the collisions but also showing his athleticism in the loose.

The flanker's speed and offloading ability is becoming a vital component in the more daring Welsh style, one that follows the Scarlets' way in the PRO14.

"It is good rugby, good to watch," he said. "I enjoy playing it – it certainly suits my style and the attributes I have got. I am enjoying that at the moment."

Shingler carried the ball 16 times at Twickenham, racking up 56 metres and going on one lung-busting run from his own half that ended with an attempted grubber through into the English 22 that had Owen Farrell scrambling.

The hope is to find a cutting edge to stay in the title mix with victory in Dublin, a city that holds no fear for Shingler and the Scarlets after their semi-final win against Leinster and final success against Munster last season.

"We have got to be positive, don't we?" he said. "We are still in it.

"Ireland are a good team and will a tough challenge at home. We will throw everything at them and play the style we have been playing. Hopefully we get the win."