Wales confident as they start World Cup build-up

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    09 Jul 2019     Getty Images

Hooker Ken Owens said the Welsh needed to go into their training camps, which include stints in Switzerland and Turkey, believing that what didn't kill them made them stronger.


Owens is set to make his third World Cup, although he has yet to start a Cup game.

"The training camps are not going to kill you, so what is the worst that can happen?" Owens asked.

"As a squad we pride ourselves on the fact that if you run yourself into the ground no one can expect anything more of you.

"We are second in the world, but to win the World Cup we need to be number one," he told The Rugby Paper.

"We know we need to improve and we are highly motivated to do that. The fitness isn't pleasant, but we know why we do it and it's massively important.

"The World Cup is the biggest competition in the world and it won't be easy or given to us so we know we will have to work hard to be successful," he said.

Wales are in a pool with Georgia, Australia, Uruguay and Fiji and are on a run of 14 games without defeat.

Wales could not afford to under-estimate any of its pool opponents.
"Fiji beat France in France and are an improving side. You can never write off Georgia and while we will be confident going into the Uruguay game, they won't roll over. We can't say that we only need to beat Australia to finish top," he said.

Teammate wing George North has warned Wales' opponents that they have two or three levels of improvement to go yet.

After achieving their third Grand Slam under coach Warren Gatland earlier in the year, North said, "We probably put a 60-minute performance in against England and probably the same against Ireland in the Six Nations. For us, there are another two or three levels left in there.

"The benefit of the World Cup is that it always brings out the best in everyone. We certainly all know what's at stake and it's just about getting that full 80-minute performance consistently," he said.

Wales had learned to slog out games that they probably wouldn't have won in the past and had confidence that their development allowed them to go into the last 10-15 minutes to compete.

"We haven't faded away, we've been able to push on and get results when historically we'd flaked away and lost at the end.

"We're in the best position we've ever been for a World Cup. Historically, we've always been the underdogs going in, but this squad has been in a great place for the last two years," he said.