Wales can fly high - Gareth Edwards

Getty Images

    04 Jan 2019     Getty Images

Wales head into 2019 having enjoyed a clean sweep over Scotland, Australia, Tonga and South Africa in their November Test programme, the first time they had achieved that, while putting together nine consecutive wins, their best winning run in 20 years. The win over the Wallabies was their first in 14 attempts.

That should give Wales the chance to build on that form in both the Six Nations and World Cup, he told PA Sport.

"This could be the biggest year for Welsh sport. We can compete with the best and I think we have the personnel to shake the world.

"We don't have to fear anyone because of what has been developed," he said.

"There's a lot more consistency and the bench is a lot stronger. When these boys run on now you're not afraid of what's going to happen.

"In the past you thought, 'I hope we can keep these boys on for as long as we can'. It's not a game of 15 people any more, and that's vitally important for Wales," he said.

"What Wales have achieved in the autumn has been excellent and given us a great deal of confidence.

"The Six Nations will be more of a test now, England and Ireland in particular.

"But playing them in Cardiff will be a terrific advantage, and hopefully we can have a great Six Nations ahead of what will be the ultimate test [the World Cup in Japan]," he said.

However, one concern for Wales will be the continued absence of fullback Leigh Halfpenny due to concussion issues.

He hasn't played since Wales beat Australia on November 10. He left the field near the end of the game after a late challenge was made on him by Wallaby centre Samu Kerevi.

Halfpenny had been due to play for his Llanelli Scarlet side against Cardiff last weekend but withdrew as the result of headaches.

Scarlets coach, and incoming Wales coach after the World Cup, Wayne Pivac said Halfpenny would be seeing a specialist in the hope that more clarity could be achieved on his return to playing.

"It has been about eight weeks now so we want to get some reassurance that we are doing the right things and make sure we stay on track," he said.

"Leigh is very frustrated. You can see a leg injury, these things are easy to deal with, you can see a finish line. Muscles take this amount of time to heal, broken bones take that amount of time.

"But you don't know as much about the head injuries that occur. It is frustrating for all concerned, more so for Leigh," he said.