British & Irish Lions flanker Dan Lydiate admits Welsh preparations for the World Cup are a step up from four years ago.
Warren Gatland, who led the Lions to a series victory over Australia in 2013, has taken his 47-man squad to a training camp Switzerland, before they visit Doha and Poland.
Among those 47 is a large group of players who joined Gatland on that 2013 tour, including Lydiate, Alun Wyn Jones, George North, Leigh Halfpenny and captain Sam Warburton.
And Lydiate believes this year’s preparations are more intense than those prior to the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand, when Wales were narrowly beaten by France at the semi-final stage.
“We went to Poland four years ago and it's definitely been a step up coming here," he told the BBC. "But I think the squad is in a lot better place fitness-wise going into this campaign.
"So with that being said, they're pushing us a lot harder, but the boys will definitely be seeing the benefit.
"I thought it would be the same as last time, [but] that's the way rugby's going at the minute.
"Each year, each campaign, every time we're in international time, there's a little step up each time. The next place we travel to will be stepped up again.”
Be part of the biggest Tour in the world and register your interest in travelling with the British & Irish Lions to New Zealand in 2017