Wales Ready to Prove There Is Light at the End of the Tunnel

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), November 24, 2007 | Go to article overview

Wales Ready to Prove There Is Light at the End of the Tunnel


Byline: By Andy Howell Western Mail

Wales ready to prove there is light at the end of the tunnel Wales look to bash the Boks

Andy Howell 2007-11-23T15:50:26 WALES rugby stars are vowing to put their World Cup misery behind them and usher in the start of a bright new dawn for our national game this afternoon.

WALES rugby stars are vowing to put their World Cup misery behind them and usher in the start of a bright new dawn for our national game this afternoon.

New skipper Gethin Jenkins leads our men into battle against world champions South Africa at the Millennium Stadium, hoping the new-look Welsh team can produce a shock result which makes the rugby world sit up and take notice.

The Welsh players accept that every single one of them is on trial today, with Six Nations places up for grabs and new coach Warren Gatland studying the match with interest on TV back home in New Zealand.

Gatland officially takes up the Welsh reins next Saturday, but his massive impact on the squad is already being noted by the players.

Jenkins and back-row star Jonathan Thomas admit the pressure is on Wales to deliver after the World Cup flop ... particularly with hard-nosed, no-nonsense winner Gatland waiting in the wings.

A victory over the Springboks in the Prince William Cup will come as a terrific fillip, with places up for grabs in the Six Nations opener against England at Twickenham on February 2.

Every player in Wales has taken note of the fact that there is a new coach coming in and everyone knows they have got to go out on the field to impress him, said Jenkins.

This is the chance for the 22 that are involved. We are looking forward to putting the jersey back on again after what happened at the World Cup and proving we can perform on the international stage.

We have got to try to think positively about the future and get back to where we were at our best.

If everything is in place, then we can definitely compete on the world stage.

Jenkins was backed in his assessment of what is at stake today by Thomas, who is ready to tangle with Shalk Burger and co in the key breakdown area.

Thomas accepts the Welsh stars are playing for their very futures at Test level, saying, If we are honest, we are a little bit uncertain of what the future holds for us.

We are the ones who have been given the privilege of wearing the red jersey this weekend and we are out to try and impress the new coach before he comes in. …

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