"We are still a young squad, and we are gelling well together now. It is a case now of just continuing to build under new coach Mike Ruddock," he told reporters following Wales 44-10 victory over Italy in the final round of the 2004 RBS Six Nations Championship.
However the Cardiff Blue knows Wales have to improve their consistency if they are to challenge rugby's top nations. The Blues player grabbed his third championship try in the six-try romp over Italy, but despite warm approval of the rugby played under the Hansen era, Shanklin admits improvements are still needed if Wales want to challenge France, Ireland and England next year.
"We have been inconsistent this year," said Shanklin after helping to give Coach Steve Hansen a winning send-off before he returns to New Zealand. "We played really well against Italy and Scotland but we are not doing it week in week out. Against England we seemed to be defending for long periods in the second half and that is what really cost us the game. We could not get enough of the ball as their big forwards took it up to us."