Howley excited by Wales’ returning Lions

Rob Howley believes the experience Wales' British & Irish Lions enjoyed this summer can inspire further success for the reigning Six Nations champions. [more]

Howley excited by Wales’ returning Lions

Rob Howley believes the experience Wales’ British & Irish Lions enjoyed this summer can inspire further success for the reigning Six Nations champions.

Howley, who has returned to his role as assistant coach with Wales now Lions head coach Warren Gatland has concluded his stint with the Lions, watched on with pride as nine Welshman started the final Test in Sydney and ensured a first tour win in 16 years with an emphatic 41-16 win over the Qantas Wallabies.

The next step for Wales and Howley is to beat a Southern Hemisphere team and they will get that chance when South Africa travel to the Millennium Stadium as part of the autumn internationals on November 9.

Howley travelled to Johannesburg last week to run the rule over the Springboks as they went down 38-27 to New Zealand as the All Blacks retained the Rugby Championship Cup in an enthralling nine-try encounter.

And the former British & Irish Lion, who was part of the last Lions squad who returned from South Africa victorious in 1997, has no doubts the experienced gained Down Under will benefit Wales this autumn and beyond.

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"Looking back to the summer the hurdle our players took beating a southern hemisphere side as part of the British and Irish Lions can only give us confidence,” he said.

"If you look especially at the third Test in Sydney, our players will really have benefited from that experience and will come into this campaign with a lot of confidence and we will all be ready to put a marker down in that first game against South Africa.

"The autumn is a huge challenge for us, but it is one we welcome and are looking forward to.

"It you look at the autumn series over the last three or four years, we haven't won too many matches and that is the next challenge for us.” 

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