Welsh Lions on the verge of something special

There are plenty of good times ahead for Welsh rugby according to WRU chief executive Roger Lewis. [more]

Welsh Lions on the verge of something special

There are plenty of good times ahead for Welsh rugby according to WRU chief executive Roger Lewis.

A brace of Grand Slams in three years has seen the national game reach heights it had failed to achieve since the 1970s.

The stature of Welsh rugby was further highlighted this summer when no fewer than 13 Welshmen represented the Lions on their memorable tour of South Africa.

And Lewis believes that the future is set to be a bright one for Warren Gatland’s men, despite a disappointing defeat to Australia in the last of their four autumn internationals.

"Going into the Australia game, everyone had a great sense of optimism. However, the paradox of sport is that uncertainty is a pre-requisite," Lewis told the Daily Telegraph. 

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"Had we have won, we would have been number three in the world rankings and no other Wales side has been that high. That tells you something about the progress we have made.

"The fact that we find ourselves in this position, is a great tribute to the business, the structure, the coaching team and the players in Wales. So, whilst the disappointment of losing to New Zealand and Australia is still there, I am particularly excited about the future.”

Next up for Wales and their multitude of Lions is a trip to Twickenham in the 2010 Six Nations on February 6 – a game for which Gatland will hope to have the likes of Lions stars Lee Byrne, Adam Jones and Mike Phillips back from injury.

And with the country’s best players hopefully fit and well, Lewis has no doubt Wales can achieve success on a European and even world stage. 

"I believe we have everything in place in terms of the business and the structure and at this moment in time, all of us at the WRU feel confident with the position in which we find ourselves,” added Lewis. 

"However, we also know that anything other than winning is not acceptable at this level and that is the challenge.

"I took a huge leap in 2007 when I said that Warren Gatland would take us through to the end of the 2011 Word Cup. He has done a great job so far and now we need to take the next step. 

“The group of coaches and players all have outstanding potential and I believe we are on the verge of achieving something very special.”

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